From proactive to retroactive dual-task interference: The important role of Task-2 probability

Mark Nieuwenstein, S. Scholz, Nico Broers



Dual-task studies on the attentional blink (AB) and psychological refractory period (PRP) effect show that the processing of a first target (T1) obstructs the processing of a shortly following target (T2). Recently, Nieuwenstein and Wyble (2014) found an opposite pattern, such that a memory encoding task suffered pronounced retroactive interference (RI) from a trailing 2-AFC task, with little evidence for proactive interference (PI). Here, we report that the occurrence of PI or RI depends on the probability of T2. Specifically, if T2 is always present, as in studies on the AB and PRP, there is strong PI and little to no RI but if T2 is not always present (as in Nieuwenstein and Wyble), there is strong RI and little PI. We propose that the occurrence of PI or RI reflects the workings of an attentional control mechanism that serves to protect T1 processing against interference from T2.
Originele taal-2English
StatusPublished - 2014
Evenement55th annual meeting of the Psychonomic Society - Long Beach, California, United States
Duur: 20-nov-201423-nov-2014


Conference55th annual meeting of the Psychonomic Society
Land/RegioUnited States
StadLong Beach, California

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