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Losing the boundary: cognition biases action well after action selection

Authors
  • Calderon, CB
  • Verguts, Tom
  • Gevers, W
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2015
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1037/xge0000087
OAI: oai:archive.ugent.be:6907785
Source
Ghent University Institutional Archive
Keywords
Language
English
License
Green
External links

Abstract

For selecting an action, traditional theories suggest a cognitive architecture made of serial processing units. Others suggested that action selection emerges from the parallel implementation of and competition between multiple action plans. To disentangle these 2 hypotheses, we created a reaching task assessing the temporal dynamics of action selection. Crucially, our design did not force action selection processes to operate in parallel, allowing an informative comparison between the hypotheses. We manipulated the probability of congruence between a cue and a delayed reach target to investigate, in an unbiased way, whether congruence probability interacts with reach trajectory. Our results show that reach trajectories are modulated by the probability of congruence. Hence, action selection is temporally spread, continues after movement onset, and emerges from a competition between multiple afforded action plans, in parallel biased by relevant task factors (e.g., probability of reach).

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