ERIC Number: EJ1060155
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-May
Abstractor: As Provided
The Effect of N-3 on N-2 Repetition Costs in Task Switching
Schuch, Stefanie; Grange, James A.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v41 n3 p760-767 May 2015
N-2 task repetition cost is a response time and error cost returning to a task recently performed after one intervening trial (i.e., an ABA task sequence) compared with returning to a task not recently performed (i.e., a CBA task sequence). This cost is considered a robust measure of inhibitory control during task switching. The present article reports a novel sequential effect of n-2 task repetitions when trial n-3 is taken into consideration. In particular, performance is better in trials "preceded" by an n-2 repetition than in trials "preceded" by an n-2 switch. That is, performance is better in BABA sequences (where trial n-1 was an n-2 repetition) than in CABA sequences (where trial n-1 was an n-2 switch). Likewise, performance is better in BCBA (where trial n-1 was an n-2 repetition) than in ACBA or DCBA sequences (where trial n-1 was an n-2 switch). Evidence for this new n-3 effect is provided by a mini meta-analysis of a set of published data, as well as 2 new experiments applying a different paradigm. We suggest that this new effect reflects trial-by-trial modulation of cognitive control: Task conflict is higher in n-2 repetitions than in n-2 switches; therefore, cognitive control is increased in trials following n-2 repetitions, leading to improved performance. This facilitating effect of previous task conflict is discussed with respect to current theories on cognitive control.
Descriptors: Cognitive Processes, Task Analysis, Repetition, Attention Control, Inhibition, Reaction Time, Cues, Human Body, Experiments, Statistical Analysis, Meta Analysis, Factor Analysis
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.apa.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A