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The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00426-016-0745-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
According to ideomotor theory, people use bidirectional associations between movements and their effects for action selection and initiation. Our experiments examined how verbal instructions of action effects influence response selection without prior experience of action effects in a separate acquisition phase. Instructions for different groups of participants specified whether they should ignore, attend, learn, or intentionally produce acoustic effects produced by button presses. Results showed that explicit instructions of action–effect relations trigger effect-congruent action tendencies in the first trials following the instruction; in contrast, no evidence for effect-based action control was observed in these trials when instructions were to ignore or to attend to the action effects. These findings show that action-effect knowledge acquired through verbal instruction and direct experience is similarly effective for effect-based action control as long as the relation between the movement and the effect is clearly spelled out in the instruction.
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- Influence of verbal instructions on effect-based action control
Andreas B. Eder
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg