Schuch, S and Grange, JA (2014) The effect of N-3 on N-2 repetition costs in task switching. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 41 (3). 760 -767. ISSN 0022-1015

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N-2 task repetition cost is a response time and error cost returning to a task recently performed after one intervening trial (i.e., an ABA task sequence) compared with returning to a task not recently performed (i.e., a CBA task sequence). This cost is considered a robust measure of inhibitory control during task switching. The present article reports a novel sequential effect of n-2 task repetitions when trial n-3 is taken into consideration. In particular, performance is better in trials preceded by an n-2 repetition than in trials preceded by an n-2 switch. That is, performance is better in BABA sequences (where trial n-1 was an n-2 repetition) than in CABA sequences (where trial n-1 was an n-2 switch). Likewise, performance is better in BCBA (where trial n-1 was an n-2 repetition) than in ACBA or DCBA sequences (where trial n-1 was an n-2 switch). Evidence for this new n-3 effect is provided by a mini meta-analysis of a set of published data, as well as 2 new experiments applying a different paradigm. We suggest that this new effect reflects trial-by-trial modulation of cognitive control: Task conflict is higher in n-2 repetitions than in n-2 switches; therefore, cognitive control is increased in trials following n-2 repetitions, leading to improved performance. This facilitating effect of previous task conflict is discussed with respect to current theories on cognitive control.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record, available form
Uncontrolled Keywords: task switching, backward inhibition, cognitive control, sequential effects
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Psychology
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2016 10:05
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2021 10:25

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