Clever homunculus: is there an endogenous act of control in the explicit task-cuing procedure?

J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform. 2003 Jun;29(3):575-99. doi: 10.1037/0096-1523.29.3.575.


Does the explicit task-cuing procedure require an endogenous a act of control? In 5 experiments, cues indicating which task to perform preceded targets by several stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs). Two models were developed to account for changes in reaction time (RT) with SOA. Model 1 assumed an endogenous act of task switching for cue alterations but not for cue repetitions. Model 2 assumed no such act. In Experiments 1 and 2, the cue was masked or not masked. Masking interacted underadditively with repetition and alternation, consistent with Model 2 but not Model 1. In Experiments 3 and 4, 2 cues were used for each task. RT was slower for task repetition than for cue repetition and about the same as RT for task alternation, consistent with Model 2 but not Model 1. The results suggest that the explicit task-cuing procedure does not require an endogenous act of control.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Brain / physiology*
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Cues*
  • Humans
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Perceptual Masking
  • Reaction Time
  • Visual Perception / physiology*