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Anticipated action effects affect the selection, initiation, and execution of actions

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This study investigated the impact of contingent action effects on response production. In Experiment 1 responses of varying intensity were initiated faster when contingently followed by auditory effects of corresponding rather than of noncorresponding intensity. This response-effect (R-E) compatibility influence was robust with respect to practice, and it was not due to persisting influences of preceding R-E episodes. These results support the conclusion that R-E compatibility reflects the impact of anticipatory effect representations in response production. Experiment 2 showed that anticipatory effect codes have an impact on early processes of response production (response selection) as well as on processes that immediately precede overt responding (response initiation). Finally, they also influence the way the actions are physically performed (response execution). The results support and specify ideo-motor theories of action control that assume movements to be controlled by anticipations of their sensorial effects.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg Germany 2: Max Planck Institute for Psychological Research Munich Germany 3: Psychological Institute III University of Würzburg Würzburg Germany

Publication date: January 1, 2004


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