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Reactive control processes contributing to residual switch cost and mixing cost across the adult lifespan


Whitson, LR and Karayanidis, F and Fulham, R and Provost, A and Michie, PT and Heathcote, A and Hsieh, S, Reactive control processes contributing to residual switch cost and mixing cost across the adult lifespan, Frontiers in Psychology, 5 Article 383. ISSN 1664-1078 (2014) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 Whitson, Karayanidis, Fulham, Provost, Michie, Heathcote and Hsieh.

DOI: doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00383


In task-switching paradigms, performance is better when repeating the same task than when alternating between tasks (switch cost) and when repeating a task alone rather than intermixed with another task (mixing cost). These costs remain even after extensive practice and when task cues enable advanced preparation (residual costs). Moreover, residual reaction time mixing cost has been consistently shown to increase with age. Residual switch and mixing costs modulate the amplitude of the stimulus-locked P3b. This mixing effect is disproportionately larger in older adults who also prepare more for and respond more cautiously on these "mixed" repeat trials (Karayanidis et al., 2011). In this paper, we analyze stimulus-locked and response-locked P3 and lateralized readiness potentials to identify whether residual switch and mixing cost arise from the need to control interference at the level of stimulus processing or response processing. Residual mixing cost was associated with control of stimulus-level interference, whereas residual switch cost was also associated with a delay in response selection. In older adults, the disproportionate increase in mixing cost was associated with greater interference at the level of decision-response mapping and response programming for repeat trials in mixed-task blocks. These findings suggest that older adults strategically recruit greater proactive and reactive control to overcome increased susceptibility to post-stimulus interference. This interpretation is consistent with recruitment of compensatory strategies to compensate for reduced repetition benefit rather than an overall decline on cognitive flexibility.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Cognitive and computational psychology
Research Field:Decision making
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in psychology
UTAS Author:Heathcote, A (Professor Andrew Heathcote)
ID Code:98938
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:22
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2015-03-10
Last Modified:2017-10-31
Downloads:282 View Download Statistics

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