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Stimulus-response compatibility and automatic response activation: evidence from psychophysiological studies

, : Stimulus-response compatibility and automatic response activation: evidence from psychophysiological studies. Journal of Experimental Psychology. Human Perception and Performance 21(4): 837-854

Effects of dimensional overlap between stimuli and responses on partial response activation were investigated within a priming paradigm with the help of event-related potentials. The likely position of a target stimulus (requiring a left or a right reaction) was indicated by an arrow precue. To test whether automatic response activation processes are triggered by the cue, the lateralized readiness potential was computed. It was found that responses congruent to the direction of the cue were activated about 200 ms after cue onset. This early process was unaffected by specific cue-response contingencies and was completely missing when a nonspatial (color) cue was used. A second response activation phase was observed, which was partially controlled by specific response instructions and subjective expectancies. It is concluded that when stimuli and responses overlap with respect to spatial attributes, automatic response activation process are triggered, which may later be replaced by the activation of an expected response.


PMID: 7643051

DOI: 10.1037/0096-1523.21.4.837

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