Phasic alertness and the residual task-switching cost

Nachshon Meiran, Ziv Chorev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

Participants switched between two randomly ordered discrimination tasks and each trial began with the presentation of a task cue instructing which task to execute. The authors induced phasic alertness by presenting a salient uninformative stimulus after the task cue was provided, and at variable intervals before the target stimulus was presented (Experiments 1-3) or before the task cue (Experiment 4). When the alerting stimulus preceded the target stimulus or the task cue by an optimal interval, RT was faster, indicating an alert state and the task-switching cost was reduced. These results support the suggestion of De Jong (Acta Psychologica, 1999) that alertness improves the overcoming of retrieval competition through improved goal representation, but also show that the effect is specific to the residual task-switching cost.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-124
Number of pages16
JournalExperimental Psychology
Volume52
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 25 Apr 2005

Keywords

  • Alertness
  • Executive functions
  • Reaction time
  • Response selection
  • Task switching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology

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