Do you really represent my task? Sequential adaptation effects to unexpected events support referential coding for the joint Simon effect.Psychol Res. 2016 Jul; 80(4):449-63.PR
Recent findings suggest that a Simon effect (SE) can be induced in Individual go/nogo tasks when responding next to an event-producing object salient enough to provide a reference for the spatial coding of one's own action. However, there is skepticism against referential coding for the joint Simon effect (JSE) by proponents of task co-representation. In the present study, we tested assumptions of task co-representation and referential coding by introducing unexpected double response events in a joint go/nogo and a joint independent go/nogo task. In Experiment 1b, we tested if task representations are functionally similar in joint and standard Simon tasks. In Experiment 2, we tested sequential updating of task co-representation after unexpected single response events in the joint independent go/nogo task. Results showed increased JSEs following unexpected events in the joint go/nogo and joint independent go/nogo task (Experiment 1a). While the former finding is in line with the assumptions made by both accounts (task co-representation and referential coding), the latter finding supports referential coding. In contrast to Experiment 1a, we found a decreased SE after unexpected events in the standard Simon task (Experiment 1b), providing evidence against the functional equivalence assumption between joint and two-choice Simon tasks of the task co-representation account. Finally, we found an increased JSE also following unexpected single response events (Experiment 2), ruling out that the findings of the joint independent go/nogo task in Experiment 1a were due to a re-conceptualization of the task situation. In conclusion, our findings support referential coding also for the joint Simon effect.