Co-occurrence of sequential and practice effects in the Simon task: Evidence for two independent mechanisms affecting response selection

Cristina Iani, Sandro Rubichi, Elena Gherri, Roberto Nicoletti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Simon effect refers to the observation that responses to a relevant stimulus dimension are faster and more accurate when the stimulus and response spatially correspond than when they do not, even though stimulus position is irrelevant. Recent findings have suggested that the Simon effect can be strongly modulated by prior practice with a spatially incompatible mapping and by correspondence sequence. Although practice is thought to influence conditional stimulus-response (S-R) processing, leaving response priming through the unconditional route unaffected, sequential effects are thought to represent trial-by-trial adaptations that selectively involve unconditional S-R processing. In the present study, we tested this assumption by assessing the effects of correspondence sequence both when the Simon task alone was performed and when it was preceded by a spatial compatibility task with either incompatible (Experiments 1-2) or compatible (Experiment 2) instructions. The observation that practice and correspondence sequence co-occur and exert additive effects strongly demonstrates that the two factors affect different processing routes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)358-67
Number of pages10
JournalMemory and Cognition
Volume37
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • Adult
  • Association Learning
  • Attention
  • Choice Behavior
  • Color Perception
  • Conflict (Psychology)
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Inhibition (Psychology)
  • Male
  • Orientation
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual
  • Practice (Psychology)
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Reaction Time
  • Reversal Learning
  • Young Adult

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