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November 2021

Sequential effects in rudimentary auditory and visual tasks

Author(s): Hill, N. I.

Journal/Book: Percept Psychophys. 1999; 61: 1710 Fortview Rd, Austin, TX 78704, USA. Psychonomic Soc Inc. 375-384.

Abstract: Three experiments examined sequential effects in choice reaction time tasks. On each trial, a right/left positional judgment was made to a either a pure tone or a luminance increment in a visual array of box elements. In the first two experiments, a preparatory signal was presented prior to each imperative signal to indicate the relevant stimulus modality. At a short stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) between the preparatory and the imperative signal (i.e., 60 msec), subjects were quicker to repeat the same response than to change their response when presented with successive tones, although no such repetition effect occurred on the visual target trials. Subjects were impaired if the stimulus modality changed across successive trials regardless of the modality of the target. At a longer SOA (i.e., 500 msec), these sequential effects were abolished; subjects were assumed to be able to prepare for the relevant modality because of the presentation of the preparatory signal. When the preparatory signals were omitted, in a final experiment, the modality-switching costs were still evident, but now inhibition of return occurred on both the auditory and the visual target trials-subjects were now impaired in responding when the target reappeared at its immediately previous location. It seems, therefore, that the repetition effect and modality-switching effects do dissociate. The data revealed clear differences between orienting attention to a particular spatial locale and focusing attention to a particular sensory modality.

Note: Article Quinlan PT, Univ York, Dept Psychol, York YO10 5DD, N Yorkshire, ENGLAND

Keyword(s): INHIBITION; RETURN


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