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Action selection in complex routinized sequential behaviors

Ruh, N. and Cooper, Richard P. and Mareschal, Denis (2010) Action selection in complex routinized sequential behaviors. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 36 (4), pp. 995-975. ISSN 0096-1523.

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We report two experiments in which errors and interaction latencies were recorded during routinization of hierarchically structured computer-based tasks. Experiment 1 demonstrates that action selection is slowed at subtask transitions, especially when selecting lower frequency actions. This frequency effect is compounded by concurrent performance of a secondary, attentionally demanding, task. Experiment 2 replicates these results in a more complex task and further demonstrates that the effects are reduced by experience. Several other factors were also found to affect latencies, including the availability of an external disambiguation cue and the temporal distance over which task context needs to be internally maintained. The results support a “dual-systems” account of action selection in which a “routine” system, sensitive to frequency, context, and experience, is selectively modulated by an attentionally demanding “nonroutine” system.

Item Type: Article
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2010 10:20
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:19

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