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Preparation of this article was supported by a grant from the National Fund for Scientific Research, Flanders, Belgium (FWO-VL G.0009.99)
In this paper we investigate whether an attention shift towards an auditory signal, while performing a two-choice serial reaction time task, primes responses in the direction of the auditory signal. In Experiment 1, subjects had to react to the pitch of the signal, which was randomly presented to the left or right ear. A short (50-ms) and a long (1000-ms) response-stimulus interval (RSI) was used. In Experiment 2 with an RSI of 2000 ms, subjects had to respond to the color of a centrally presented visual stimulus, while a sound was presented to one of the ears. In the short RSI condition of Experiment 1, there was a Simon effect for location alternations only. In the long RSI condition, there was a Simon effect for location repetitions and alternations. Experiment 2 showed a Simon effect in relation to the accessory sound. The results of this study suggest that an attention shift is a sufficient and necessary condition in order to observe a Simon effect.
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- Irrelevant auditory attention shifts prime corresponding responses