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Reactivating Spatial Stimulus Codes in a Multi-Item Simon Task

Bundt, Carsten (2011) Reactivating Spatial Stimulus Codes in a Multi-Item Simon Task.

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Abstract:Responses are faster when they correspond spatially with the target stimulus than when they do not, even though the location of the stimuli is not task-relevant (i.e. the Simon effect). The attention-shift hypothesis proposes that these spatial codes are formed due to a shift of attention to the relevant target stimulus. In contrast, the referential-coding hypothesis supposes that spatial codes are formed in reference to an intentionally defined reference frame. It is assumed that spatial codes could be indicated by electroencephalographic components. An enhanced posterior contralateral negativity (i.e. PCN) is supposed to represent an indicator of the formation of spatial codes. In 2002, Hommel (Experiment 2) suggested that spatial codes are automatically formed, because they could be reactivated, even though relevant stimuli were absent. The current study attempted to replicate the findings of Hommel using slightly modified SCOA intervals (-1000 ms, 0 ms, 1000 ms). Additionally, electroencephalography (EEG) was applied to examine the role of attentional mechanisms (i.e. PCN). Stimulus-response correspondence (SRC) effects were obtained for each SCOA condition (i.e. Simon effect) replicating Hommel´s findings (2002, Experiment 2). Electroencephalographic results indicated a PCN, when the cue preceded or corresponded with stimuli-onset. No PCN could have been obtained, when stimuli preceded and were absent during cue-onset (i.e. reactivation). Present findings provide some evidence that both accounts (attention-shifting and referential-coding) should be combined for explaining the Simon effect.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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