The role of the stimulus dimension for referential coding in the go-nogo Simon task

T. Dolk, B. Hommel, W. Prinz, Roman Liepelt

Publication: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingContributions to collected editions/anthologiesResearchpeer-review


Many activities we perform in daily life are carried out together with other people. But how do we mentally represent other people’s actions and how does this affect our own behaviour? One of the most prominent paradigms that has been developed to investigate joint action is the joint Simon paradigm in which two individuals share one task that is commonly used in the standard Simon paradigm. The typically observed stimulus-response compatibility effect in jointly interacting individuals—known as the joint Simon effect (joint cSE)—has been considered a marker of action and/or task co-representation. Recent findings, however, challenge the co-representation account, suggesting that the joint cSE may result from salient events that provide a reference for spatially coding one’s own action (Dolk et al., 2011). To further clarify what the notion of saliency means, what it refers to, and how it might account for the cSE in general, we manipulated the salient nature of reference-inducing events in the response-dimension. By implementing a salient non-social “action” event (a moving object) in the alternative response dimension of an auditory go-nogo Simon task, we showed that a cSE can be induced under solo conditions (Fig. 7.1.1). We take these findings to suggest that any salient, attention-attracting event may serve as a spatial reference for the actor and/or his/her response. Accordingly, in contrast to the (social) co-representation account, we suggest that (spatial) referential coding plays an important role in the emergence of the cSE.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Report 2010/2011
Publication date2011
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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