The joint flanker effect: sharing tasks with real and imagined co-actors
SourceExperimental Brain Research, 211, 3-4, (2011), pp. 371-385
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC CO
Experimental Brain Research
SubjectAction, intention, and motor control; DI-BCB_DCC_Theme 2: Perception, Action and Control
The Eriksen flanker task (Eriksen and Eriksen in Percept Psychophys 16:143-149, 1974) was distributed among pairs of participants to investigate whether individuals take into account a co-actor's S-R mapping even when coordination is not required. Participants responded to target letters (Experiment 1) or colors (Experiment 2) surrounded by distractors. When performing their part of the task next to another person performing the complementary part of the task, participants responded more slowly to stimuli containing flankers that were potential targets for their co-actor (incompatible trials), compared to stimuli containing identical, compatible, or neutral flankers. This joint Flanker effect also occurred when participants merely believed to be performing the task with a co-actor (Experiment 3). Furthermore, Experiment 4 demonstrated that people form shared task representations only when they perceive their co-actor as intentionally controlling her actions. These findings substantiate and generalize earlier results on shared task representations and advance our understanding of the basic mechanisms subserving joint action.
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