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29-08-2021 | Original Article

Meaningful boundaries create boundary conditions for control

Auteurs: Jackson S. Colvett, Julie M. Bugg

Gepubliceerd in: Psychological Research | Uitgave 5/2022

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Abstract

Recent research demonstrated that control states learned via experience in inducer locations were retrieved in novel, unbiased (i.e., diagnostic) locations positioned nearby. Such transfer has been observed even in the presence of a visual boundary (a line) separating inducer and diagnostic locations. One aim of the present study was to assess whether a meaningful boundary might disrupt retrieval of control states in diagnostic locations. Supporting this possibility, in Experiment 1 learned control states did not transfer from inducer locations superimposed on a university’s quad to diagnostic locations superimposed on buildings outside the quad. Similarly, in Experiment 2 transfer was not observed for diagnostic locations positioned on a track outside of the field where inducer locations were positioned; however, transfer was also not observed for diagnostic locations on the field (inside the boundary). The latter finding helped motivate Experiments 3a and 3b, which tackled the second aim by examining whether a meaningful boundary might attenuate learning of control states for inducer locations within the boundary. Consistent with this hypothesis, a CSPC effect was observed only when a meaningful boundary was not present. Taken together, the findings provide evidence that meaningful boundaries influence how conflict experiences are organized during a task thereby impacting learning and transfer of context-specific control states.
Voetnoten
1
A similar assumption (that the boundary needs to be meaningful) could be inferred from a prior study that looked at transfer beyond a different type of reference frame using a prime-probe task. Kunde et al. (2003) found that compatibility effects (reflecting compatibility of responses corresponding to a prime number and a to-be-judged probe number) were found for a prime-only set (e.g., 2, 3, 7, and 8) that never appeared as targets when the target set included a larger range (e.g., 1, 4, 6, and 9) that “encompassed” numbers within the prime-only set. However, and most importantly for present purposes, when the target set (e.g., 3, 4, 6, and 7) had a smaller range such that the numbers from the prime-only set fell outside of that range (e.g., 1, 2, 8, and 9), compatibility effects were not observed. That is, transfer did not extend beyond the reference frame. The reference frame was arguably meaningful in that participants’ knowledge of a mental number line, for example, distinguished numbers in and outside the frame.
 
2
As a reviewer pointed out, the reduction in the CSPC effect in Experiment 3b was driven primarily by faster RTs to congruent trials in both MC and MI locations in Experiment 3a compared to 3b. The faster RT for congruent trials in the MC location in 3a compared to 3b is consistent with the interpretation that participants in 3a learned a relaxed control state for the MC location resulting in greater processing of the flanker arrows (and thus greater facilitation in the form of faster RT) compared to 3b (where overall an intermediate, 50% congruent control state was learned). It is surprising that the same speed up was observed for congruent trials in the MI location in Experiment 3a compared to 3b (again indicating greater facilitation from the flankers in 3a) considering that a more focused control state was presumably retrieved in 3a than 3b (where, again, an intermediate control state was learned) resulting in greater filtering of the flankers in 3a. However, it is important to note that theorizing in the CSPC literature has tended to focus on differences in the overall CSPC effect (reflecting differences in compatibility effects between locations) and not differences in select trial types, unlike for example the item-specific proportion congruence (ISPC) literature which has observed fairly consistent patterns of ISPC effects and theorizing exists that anticipates specific patterns of ISPC effects based on differences in select trial types (see, e.g., Bugg & Dey, 2018; Bugg et al., 2011a, 2011b; Suh & Bugg, 2021). Here, the difference in the overall CSPC effect is in the direction consistent with the interpretation that CSPC effects are weaker when a meaningful boundary is present (i.e., in Exp 3b compared to 3a).
 
3
We thank an anonymous reviewer for this suggestion.
 
Literatuur
go back to reference Bugg, J.M., Suh., J., Colvett., J.S., Lehmann., S.G. (2020). What can be learned in a context-specific proportion congruence paradigm? Implications for reproducibility. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. https://doi.org/10.1037/xhp0000801(in press). Bugg, J.M., Suh., J., Colvett., J.S., Lehmann., S.G. (2020). What can be learned in a context-specific proportion congruence paradigm? Implications for reproducibility. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. https://​doi.​org/​10.​1037/​xhp0000801(in press).
go back to reference Dignath, D., Johannsen, L., Hommel, B., & Kiesel, A. (2019). Reconciling cognitive-control and episodic-retrieval accounts of sequential conflict modulation: Binding of control-states into event-files. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 45(9), 1265. https://doi.org/10.1037/xhp0000673CrossRefPubMed Dignath, D., Johannsen, L., Hommel, B., & Kiesel, A. (2019). Reconciling cognitive-control and episodic-retrieval accounts of sequential conflict modulation: Binding of control-states into event-files. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 45(9), 1265. https://​doi.​org/​10.​1037/​xhp0000673CrossRefPubMed
go back to reference Suh, J. & Bugg, J.M. (2021). On the automaticity of reactive item-specific control as evidenced by its efficiency under load. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance. Suh, J. & Bugg, J.M. (2021). On the automaticity of reactive item-specific control as evidenced by its efficiency under load. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance.
go back to reference van Doorn, J., van den Bergh, D., Böhm, U., Dablander, F., Derks, K., Draws, T., Etz, A., Evans, N. J., Gronau, Q. F., Haaf, J. M., Hinne, M., Kucharský, Š, Ly, A., Marsman, M., Matzke, D., Gupta, A. R. K. N., Sarafoglou, A., Stefan, A., Voelkel, J. G., & Wagenmakers, E. J. (2020). The JASP guidelines for conducting and reporting a Bayesian analysis. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13423-020-01798-5CrossRef van Doorn, J., van den Bergh, D., Böhm, U., Dablander, F., Derks, K., Draws, T., Etz, A., Evans, N. J., Gronau, Q. F., Haaf, J. M., Hinne, M., Kucharský, Š, Ly, A., Marsman, M., Matzke, D., Gupta, A. R. K. N., Sarafoglou, A., Stefan, A., Voelkel, J. G., & Wagenmakers, E. J. (2020). The JASP guidelines for conducting and reporting a Bayesian analysis. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. https://​doi.​org/​10.​3758/​s13423-020-01798-5CrossRef
Metagegevens
Titel
Meaningful boundaries create boundary conditions for control
Auteurs
Jackson S. Colvett
Julie M. Bugg
Publicatiedatum
29-08-2021
Uitgeverij
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Gepubliceerd in
Psychological Research / Uitgave 5/2022
Print ISSN: 0340-0727
Elektronisch ISSN: 1430-2772
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00426-021-01580-9

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