Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience

, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 283–299 | Cite as

Mechanisms underlying dependencies of performance on stimulus history in a two-alternative forced-choice task

  • Raymond Y. ChoEmail author
  • Leigh E. Nystrom
  • Eric T. Brown
  • Andrew D. Jones
  • Todd S. Braver
  • Philip J. Holmes
  • Jonathan D. Cohen


In choice reaction time tasks, response times and error rates demonstrate differential dependencies on the identities of up to four stimuli preceding the current one. Although the general profile of reaction times and error rates, when plotted against the stimulus histories, may seem idiosyncratic, we show that it can result from simple underlying mechanisms that take account of the occurrence of stimulus repetitions and alternations. Employing a simple connectionist model of a two-alternative forcedchoice task, we explored various combinations of repetition and alternation detection schemes in an attempt to account for empirical results from the literature and from our own studies. We found that certain combinations of the repetition and the alternation schemes provided good fits to the data, suggesting that simple mechanisms may serve to explain the complicated but highly reproducible higher order dependencies of task performance on stimulus history.


Decision Unit Choice Reaction Time Stimulus Sequence Sequential Dependency High Order Effect 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raymond Y. Cho
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Leigh E. Nystrom
    • 1
  • Eric T. Brown
    • 1
  • Andrew D. Jones
    • 2
  • Todd S. Braver
    • 2
  • Philip J. Holmes
    • 1
  • Jonathan D. Cohen
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Princeton UniversityPrinceton
  2. 2.Washington UniversityMissouri
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of PittsburghPittsburgh

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