Skip to main content
Log in

Executive control in the Simon effect: an electromyographic and distributional analysis

  • Original Article
  • Published:
Psychological Research Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract.

Manual responses to lateralized stimuli are faster for spatially congruent stimulus-response associations than for incongruent associations, even if the stimulus location is irrelevant. This effect, however, decreases as reaction time increases. Recent data suggest that such a decrease reflects online, within-trial executive control. The present study was aimed at testing this hypothesis by analyzing the electromyographic activity of muscles involved in response execution. We focused on the particular trials in which an activation of the muscle involved to the incorrect response preceded the execution of the correct response. A sequential effect analysis, along with an analysis of the reaction time distributions, revealed that after such dual-activation trials, executive control was reinforced. In addition, a distribution analysis of the reaction times associated with such trials compared to the trials without incorrect activation, revealed online, within-trial changes in executive control. Arguments against a late motor locus of the effect of the irrelevant stimulus location are also provided. These results are discussed in terms of current models of cognitive control.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Additional information

Electronic Publication

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Burle, B., Possamaï, CA., Vidal, F. et al. Executive control in the Simon effect: an electromyographic and distributional analysis. Psychological Research 66, 324–336 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00426-002-0105-6

Download citation

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00426-002-0105-6

Keywords

Navigation