19-03-2021 | Original Article
Partial repetition between action plans delays responses to ideomotor compatible stimuli
Gepubliceerd in: Psychological Research | Uitgave 2/2022Log in om toegang te krijgen
Often one must depart from an intended course of events to react to sudden situational demands before resuming his or her original action retained in working memory. Retaining an action plan in working memory (WM) can delay or facilitate the execution of an intervening action when the action features of the two action plans partly overlap (partial repetition) compared to when they do not overlap. We investigated whether partial repetition costs (PRCs) or benefits (PRBs) occur when the intervening event is an ideomotor-compatible stimulus that is a biological representation of the response required by the participant. Participants viewed two visual events and retained an action plan to the first event (A) while executing a speeded response to the second, intervening event (B). In Experiment 1A, the two visual events were ideomotor compatible, non-ideomotor compatible (abstract), or one was ideomotor compatible, and the other abstract. Results showed PRCs for all event A–B stimulus combinations with reduced PRCs for intervening, ideomotor compatible events. In contrast to previous research, there was no evidence that ideomotor-compatible actions were automatic and bypassed the selection bottleneck. Experiment 1B confirmed PRCs for ideomotor compatible stimuli that more accurately mimicked the required response. Findings suggest that mechanisms for activating, selecting, and retaining action plans are similar between ideomotor compatible and abstract visual events. We conclude that PRCs occur in response to intervening events when action plans are generated offline and rely on WM, including those for ideomotor-compatible stimuli; but PRBs may be restricted to actions generated online. This conclusion is consistent with the perceptual-motor framework by Goodale and Milner (Trends in Neuroscience 15:22–25, 1992).