Psychological Research

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 23–29 | Cite as

Intersensory facilitation in the motor component?

A reaction time analysis
  • Adele Diederich
  • Hans Colonius


In the bimodal detection task the observer must respond as soon as a signal is presented in either of two modalities (e.g., a tone or a flash). A typical finding is a facilitation of reaction time for redundant signal trials, that is, when both signals are presented simultaneously or with a short delay. Models advanced for this effect imply either statistical facilitation (separate activation) or intersensory facilitation (coactivation). This paper reports a study investigating whether part of the facilitation can be accounted for by coactivation in the motor component. An analysis of the distributions of reaction time differences between left and right hand responses from a double response paradigm gave some evidence in favor of this hypothesis. In particular, our data suggest a u-shaped functional dependence of the amount of facilitation in the motor component on the interstimulus interval.


Reaction Time Time Difference Functional Dependence Detection Task Interstimulus Interval 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adele Diederich
    • 1
  • Hans Colonius
    • 2
  1. 1.Psychologisches Institut IUniversität HamburgHamburg 13Federal Republic of Germany
  2. 2.Institut für KognitionsforschungUniversität OldenburgOldenburgFederal Republic of Germany

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