Abstract for the Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society
Vancouver, Canada, 2003

Additive Factor Logic Used To Reveal Monkey Preparation Strategy In a Task-switching Paradigm

Gijsbert Stoet and Lawrence H. Snyder

Humans can rapidly switch between applying different stimulus-response (S-R) mappings. Task-switching studies have revealed that switching between S-R mappings requires preparation time: with increasing delay intervals between task-cue and imperative stimulus, reaction time and error-rate decrease. Yet, it is unclear whether it is the preparation for the S-R mapping or the sensory encoding of the task-cue that benefits from a longer delay. Whereas research on adult humans might use introspective reports to reveal the nature of processing during the cue-stimulus interval, this is impossible in non-verbal subject populations, including animals. We trained two rhesus monkeys on a task-switching paradigm and manipulated cue-stimulus interval and sensory features of the task-cues. Using additive factor logic we found that monkeys do use the cue-stimulus interval for active preparation of the upcoming S-R mapping.