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ERIC Number: EJ889652
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jul
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 247
ISSN: ISSN-0033-2909
Task Switching: Interplay of Reconfiguration and Interference Control
Vandierendonck, Andre; Liefooghe, Baptist; Verbruggen, Frederick
Psychological Bulletin, v136 n4 p601-626 Jul 2010
The task-switching paradigm is being increasingly used as a tool for studying cognitive control and task coordination. Different procedural variations have been developed. They have in common that a comparison is made between transitions in which the previous task is repeated and transitions that involve a change toward another task. In general, a performance switch cost is observed such that switching to a new task results in a slower and more error-prone execution of the task. The present article reviews the theoretical explanations of the switch cost and the findings collected in support of those explanations. Resolution and protection from interference by previous events explain part of the switching cost, but processes related to task setting and task preparation also play a prominent role, as testified by faster execution and lower switch costs when the preparation time is longer. The authors discuss the evidence in favor of each of these sets of accounts and raise a number of questions that situate task switching in a broader context of cognitive control processes. The role of several aspects of the task set, including task variations, task-set overlap, and task-set structure, is addressed, as is the role of knowledge about probability of task changes and about the structure of task sequences. (Contains 4 footnotes, 2 tables, and 2 figures.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A