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Gepubliceerd in: Psychological Research 2/2017

28-01-2016 | Original Article

Let it go: the flexible engagement and disengagement of monitoring processes in a non-focal prospective memory task

Auteurs: Anna-Lisa Cohen, Aliza Gordon, Alexander Jaudas, Carmen Hefer, Gesine Dreisbach

Gepubliceerd in: Psychological Research | Uitgave 2/2017

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Abstract

Remembering to perform a delayed intention is referred to as prospective memory (PM). In two studies, participants performed an Eriksen flanker task with an embedded PM task (they had to remember to press F1 if a pre-specified cue appeared). In study 1, participants performed a flanker task with either a concurrent PM task or a delayed PM task (instructed to carry out the intention in a later different task). In the delayed PM condition, the PM cues appeared unexpectedly early and we examined whether attention would be captured by the PM cue even though they were not relevant. Results revealed ongoing task costs solely in the concurrent PM condition but no significant task costs in the delayed PM condition showing that attention was not captured by the PM cue when it appeared in an irrelevant context. In study 2, we compared a concurrent PM condition (exactly as in Study 1) to a PM forget condition in which participants were told at a certain point during the flanker task that they no longer had to perform the PM task. Analyses revealed that participants were able to switch off attending to PM cues when instructed to forget the PM task. Results from both studies demonstrate the flexibility of monitoring as evidenced by the presence versus absence of costs in the ongoing flanker task implying that selective attention, like a lens, can be adjusted to attend or ignore, depending on intention relevance.
Voetnoten
1
To check whether reaction times to PM cues initially started off slow in early trials and then eventually sped up, we divided the PM and Deviant trials into mini-blocks (of 4 trials each) for the PM Delayed condition in Experiment 1 and in the PM Forget condition in Experiment 2. We conducted Trial type (PM Cue vs. Deviant) × Miniblock (Miniblock 1 vs. 2) ANOVAs for both experiments. Results revealed that the interaction was far from significant in Experiment 1 (p = .89) and in Experiment 2 (p = .70). Furthermore, we computed contrasts between PM and deviant trials for the first mini block of trials and there was no significant difference for Experiment 1 (p = .30) or Experiment 2 (p = .40). These analyses confirm that even in the very first mini-block trials, reaction times to PM trials did not differ significantly from deviant trials when the intention was not active.
 
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Metagegevens
Titel
Let it go: the flexible engagement and disengagement of monitoring processes in a non-focal prospective memory task
Auteurs
Anna-Lisa Cohen
Aliza Gordon
Alexander Jaudas
Carmen Hefer
Gesine Dreisbach
Publicatiedatum
28-01-2016
Uitgeverij
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Gepubliceerd in
Psychological Research / Uitgave 2/2017
Print ISSN: 0340-0727
Elektronisch ISSN: 1430-2772
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00426-016-0744-7

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