Examining binding effects on task switch costs and response-repetition effects: Variations of the cue modality and stimulus modality in task switching

Abstract

Typically, response-repetition effects are obtained in task-switching experiments: In task repetitions, performance is enhanced when the response, too, repeats (response-repetition benefits), whereas in task switches, performance is impaired when the response repeats (response-repetition costs). A previous study introduced cue modality switches in a cued task-switching paradigm with visual stimuli and obtained enhanced response-repetition benefits when the cue modality repeated (Koch, Frings, & Schuch Psychological Research, 82, 570–579, 2018). In the present study, we aimed to replicate this finding with auditory stimuli (Exp. 1), and further examined whether response-repetition effects could be modulated by introducing stimulus modality switches (Exp. 2). We found clear evidence that the cue modality and stimulus modality affect task switch costs. The task switch costs were higher with a repeated cue modality or stimulus modality. However, cue modality switches or stimulus modality switches did not affect the response-repetition effects. We suggest that response-repetition effects are elicited by response-associated bindings, which are not necessarily affected by all episodic task features to the same extent. Our results are also in line with theoretical accounts that assume a hierarchical organization of task selection and response selection.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Following up on Koch, Frings, and Schuch (2018), we employed two cue modalities (high vs. low cue via the auditory vs. visual modality) and two tasks (magnitude vs. parity task) to isolate cue modality switch costs from task switch costs. By employing this setup, a repeated cue modality could be combined with a repeated or switched task (for a discussion, see Koch, Frings, & Schuch, 2018).

  2. 2.

    There are two possibilities to control for stimulus-repetition effects. One possibility is to exclude stimulus repetitions from the data analysis (as was done in the present study). Another possibility is to exclude stimulus repetitions from occurring in the experiment (as was done in the studies by Schuch & Koch, 2004, 2006, 2010). In the latter studies, stimulus category repetitions and switches occurred with a 1:1 ratio, whereas immediate stimulus repetitions were excluded by design.

  3. 3.

    The present results remain robust when z-scores are computed separately for each participant in each condition. Here, outliers were defined by z-transforming the RTs separately for each participant averaged over conditions, to ensure the comparability of our results to those from the preceding study by Koch, Frings, and Schuch (2018).

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Correspondence to Sven R. M. Kandalowski.

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Kandalowski, S.R.M., Seibold, J.C., Schuch, S. et al. Examining binding effects on task switch costs and response-repetition effects: Variations of the cue modality and stimulus modality in task switching. Atten Percept Psychophys 82, 1632–1643 (2020). https://doi.org/10.3758/s13414-019-01931-0

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Keywords

  • Response-repetition effects
  • Task switching
  • Cue modality switching
  • Stimulus modality switching
  • Episodic binding