Facilitation and interference components in the Simon effect.

C. Umilta, S. Rubichi, R. Nicoletti


In four experiments we investigated whether the Simon effect consists of both facilitation and interference. In Experiment 1 subjects had to press one of two lateralized keys in response to one of two stimuli (a rectangle or a square). The stimuli were presented at fixation or to the right or left of it. The stimulus-response mappings could be corresponding (i.e., right key--rectangle or square on the right side), non-corresponding (i.e., right key--rectangle or square on the left side), or neutral (i.e., stimulus in the center). Results showed both facilitation and interference effects, but interference was three times greater than facilitation. To test whether the neutral position was favored by visual acuity, Experiments 2, 3 and 4 used slight different displays where visual acuity was the same at every stimulus position. Results indicated that the Simon effect is comprised of facilitation and interference components of the same magnitude. These findings were discussed with reference to dual-route models of the Simon effect.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4449/aib.v137i2.579


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