Parallel response selection in dual-task situations via automatic category-to-response translation
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In contrast to the response selection bottleneck theory of dual-task performance, recent studies have demonstrated compatibility effects between secondary and primary responses on Task 1, suggesting that response information for two tasks may be generated in parallel. In two experiments, we examined the nature of Task 2 response activation in parallel with Task 1, using a psychological refractory period paradigm. Evidence of Task 2 to Task 1 response priming when each Task 2 stimulus was unique indicated that automatic parallel generation of response information occurred for Task 2 via abstract semantic category-to-response translation processes, independent of any direct stimulus-response influences. These findings are discussed in terms of their implications for the traditional response selection bottleneck theory of dual-task performance.
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