Task Switching: A PDP Model

Gilbert, Sam J and Shallice, Tim (2002) Task Switching: A PDP Model. [Preprint]

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When subjects switch between a pair of stimulus–response tasks, reaction time is slower on trial N if a different task was performed on trial N-1. We present a parallel distributed processing (PDP) model that simulates this effect when subjects switch between word reading and color naming in response to Stroop stimuli. Reaction time on ‘switch trials’ can be slowed by an extended response selection process which results from (a) persisting, inappropriate states of activation and inhibition of task-controlling representations; and (b) associative learning, which allows stimuli to evoke tasks sets with which they have recently been associated (as proposed by Allport & Wylie, 2000). The model provides a good fit to a large body of empirical data, including findings which have been seen as problematic for this explanation of switch costs, and shows similar behavior when the parameters are set to random values, supporting Allport and Wylie’s proposal.

Item Type:Preprint
Keywords:task switching; task set; Stroop effect; parallel distributed processing; executive functions
Subjects:Psychology > Cognitive Psychology
ID Code:2087
Deposited By:Gilbert, Sam Joseph
Deposited On:28 Feb 2002
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:54

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