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Response conflict determines sequential effects in serial response time tasks with short response-stimulus intervals

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Author(s)

Ines Jentzsch, H Leuthold

School/Research organisations

Abstract

In serial choice reaction time (RT) tasks, performance in each trial critically depends on the sequence of preceding events. In this study, the authors specifically examined the mechanism underlying RT sequence effects at short response-stimulus intervals (RSIs), in which performance is impaired in the current trial N if events alternate rather than repeat from trial N - 2 to trial N - 1. Different accounts of this RT pattern in terms of perceptual noise, response-selection monitoring, and response conflict were tested in 4 experiments. Second-order RT costs were caused by the response sequence rather than the stimulus sequence. Manipulation of stimulus contrast, stimulus classification difficulty, and set-level compatibility did not modulate the response-related second-order RT effect, whereas this effect increased when spatially incompatible responses were demanded. These findings support a response conflict account of higher order sequential effects in short-RSI situations.

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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)731-748
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Volume31
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2005

    Research areas

  • sequential effects, short response-stimulus interval, conflict, compatibility, information reduction paradigm, 2-CHOICE REACTION-TIME, CHOICE-REACTION-TIME, AUTOMATIC FACILITATION, SUBJECTIVE EXPECTANCY, COMPATIBILITY, REPETITION, INTERFERENCE, LOCALIZATION, INFORMATION, ACTIVATION

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