Differential contribution of task conflicts to task switch cost and task mixing cost in alternating runs and cued task-switching: evidence from ex-Gaussian modeling of reaction time distributions

Nitzan Shahar, Nachshon Meiran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Task switching involves switch cost (poorer performance switch trials than in task-repetition trials) and mixing cost (poorer performance in task-repetition trials than in trials from blocks without task switching). These are mainly studied with the alternating runs task-switching (ARTS) paradigm (in which the task changes every constant number of trials) or the cued task-switching (CTS) paradigm, in which the tasks change randomly. The authors tested the hypothesis that dealing with actual or potential conflicts regarding which task is currently required contribute to mixing cost in CTS more than in ARTS and contribute to switch costs more in ARTS than in CTS. This hypothesis was tested using ex-Gaussian modeling of reaction time (RT) distributions, in which the heaviness of the right tail marks task conflicts (Steinhauser and Hübner in J Exp Psychol Human Percept Perform 35:1398–1412 2009). As predicted, a heavier RT-distribution tail marked switch cost more strongly in ARTS than in CTS and marked mixing costs more strongly in CTS than in ARTS. These results indicate that switch cost and mixing cost reflect different processes in different task-switching paradigms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-266
Number of pages8
JournalPsychological Research
Volume79
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Differential contribution of task conflicts to task switch cost and task mixing cost in alternating runs and cued task-switching: evidence from ex-Gaussian modeling of reaction time distributions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this