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Under task switch conditions, response repetitions usually produce benefits if the task also repeats, but costs if the task switches. So far, it is largely undecided how to account for these effects. In the present study, we provide additional evidence in favor of the account that each response is inhibited in order to prevent its accidental re-execution. To test this hypothesis, the risk of an accidental re-execution of a given response was manipulated by modulating the activation of the response in the previous task. In Experiment 1, this was done by means of congruent and incongruent stimuli. As expected, on task switch trials, the repetition costs were larger if a congruent rather than an incongruent stimulus occurred in the previous task. In Experiment 2, the same effect occurred for stimulus-response compatible versus incompatible stimuli in the previous task. In Experiment 3, both manipulations were applied together, which produced almost additive effects. Altogether, the results support the inhibition account for the response repetition effects under task switch conditions.
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- Response inhibition under task switching: its strength depends on the amount of task-irrelevant response activation
Michel D. Druey