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Visual attention and manual response selection: Distinct mechanisms operating on the same codes

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In four experiments, participants made a speeded manual response to a tone and concurrently selected a cued visual target from a masked display for later unspeeded report. In contrast toaprevious study of H.Pashler (1991), systematic interactions between the two tasks were obtained. First, accuracy in both tasks decreased with decreasing stimulus (tone-display)-onset asynchrony (SOA) - presumably due to a conflict between stimulus and response coding. Second, spatial correspondence between manual response and visual target produced better performance in the visual task and, with short SOAs, in the tone task, too - presumably due to the overlap of the spatial codes used by stimulus- and response-selection processes. Third, manual responding slowed down with increasing SOA - reflecting either a functional bottleneck or strategic queuing of target selection and response selection. Results suggest that visual stimulus selection and manual response selection are distinct mechanisms that operate on common representations.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 1, 2002


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