Effects of Response Probability on Response Force in Simple RT
Authors: Mattes, Stefan; Ulrich, Rolf; Miller, Jeff
Source: The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A, 1 May 1997, vol. 50, no. 2, pp. 405-420(16)
Abstract:Response force (RF) was measured in a simple reaction time (RT) experiment varying response uncertainty by cuing the probability of the response on each trial. In all cases, RF decreased as response probability increased. The dependence of RF on response probability was insensitive to foreperiod length and to the use of loud auditory response signals, although the dependence of RT on response probability was sensitive to both of these manipulations. In combination with previous findings, these results provide evidence that RT and RF can be dissociated. We describe an extension of Naatanen's readiness model that can account for the effects of response probability on RF and RT. According to this model, the distance between motor activation and a threshold for action is relatively large when subjects are unprepared, and a large increment is needed to exceed this threshold, resulting in slow but foreceful responses. A possible neurophysiological implementation of this model is suggested.
Document Type: Research Article