Uwe Mattler (2005)

Flanker effects on motor output and the late-level response activation hypothesis.

Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: Section A, 58(4):577--601.

When participants must respond to a relevant central target and ignore irrelevant flanking stimuli, the flankers produce a flanker compatibility effect on behavioural measures. Current accounts of the flanker compatibility effect assume that both target and flanker stimuli affect response activation. This idea is supported by electrophysiological studies, which show that irrelevant flanker stimuli can affect the motor system. The present experiments examined the characteristics of flanker effects on the motor system by analysing the details of the motor output with response force measures. A total of 60 participants responded in the flanker task to arrows (Experiment 1) or letters (Experiment 2). Reaction time as well as response force increased on incompatible trials. Analyses of the distribution of incorrect activation revealed that both response times and correct motor output increased with the amount of incorrect activity. However, the flanker compatibility effect was only marginally modulated by incorrect activity. Results suggest that the largest part of the flanker compatibility effect cannot be attributed to response activation and competition at late levels of the response system. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Accession Number: 16970171; Source Information: May2005, Vol. 58 Issue 4, p577; Subject Term: MOTOR ability testing; Subject Term: REACTION time; Subject Term: COGNITIVE psychology; Subject Term: EXPERIMENTAL psychology; Subject Term: PSYCHOLOGY; Subject Term: ; Number of Pages: 25p; ; Document Type: Article;