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      Voluntary task switching: chasing the elusive homunculus.

      Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory, and Cognition

      Set (Psychology), Reaction Time, Psychomotor Performance, Problem Solving, Pattern Recognition, Visual, Humans, Decision Making, Concept Formation, Choice Behavior, Attention

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          Abstract

          In the voluntary task switching procedure, subjects choose the task to perform on a series of bivalent stimuli, requiring top-down control of task switching. Experiments 1-3 contrasted voluntary task switching and explicit task cuing. Choice behavior showed small, inconsistent effects of external stimulus characteristics, supporting the assumption of top-down control of task choice. Switch costs were smaller when subjects chose to switch tasks than when instructed by an external cue. Experiments 4-6 separated choice costs from switch costs. These findings support models of task switching that incorporate top-down processes in accounts of switch costs. The degree to which task switching procedures capture top-down versus bottom-up processes may depend on the extent of environmental support provided by the procedure. ((c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved).

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          Journal
          10.1037/0278-7393.31.4.683
          16060773

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