Task integration facilitates multitasking

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  • Rita Ferraz de Oliveira
  • Markus Raab
  • Mathias Hegele
  • Jörg Schorer

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The aim of this study was to investigate multi-task integration in a continuous tracking task. We were particularly interested in how manipulating task structure in a dual-task situation affects learning of a constant segment embedded in a pursuit-tracking task. Importantly, we examined if dual-task effects could be attributed to task integration by varying the structural similarity and difficulty of the primary and secondary tasks. In Experiment 1 participants performed a pursuit tracking task while counting high-pitched tones and ignoring low-pitched tones. The tones were either presented randomly or structurally 250 ms before each tracking turn. Experiment 2 increased the motor load of the secondary tasks by asking participants to tap their feet to the tones. Experiment 3 further increased motor load of the primary task by increasing its speed and having participants tracking with their non-dominant hand. The results show that dual-task interference can be moderated by secondary task conditions that match the structure of the primary task. Therefore our results support proposals of task integration in continuous tracking paradigms. We conclude that multi-tasking is not always detrimental for motor learning but can be facilitated through task-integration.
Original languageEnglish
Article number398
JournalFrontiers in psychology
Publication statusPublished - 2017

ID: 2930799


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