Selective binding of stimulus, response, and effect features

  • Birte MoellerEmail author
  • Roland Pfister
  • Wilfried Kunde
  • Christian Frings
Brief Report


Responding to a stimulus leads to the integration of the stimulus, the response, and any sensory effect triggered by the response in a mental representation that has been called “event-file” or “instance.” Most theoretical models assume that event files are composed of sets of binary bindings between individual stimulus, response, and effect features. Repeating any of the integrated features on a subsequent occasion would then retrieve the entire episode. However, previous studies mainly focused on either stimulus-response (SR) binding or response-effect (RE) binding while not assessing S-R-E episodes in their entirety. Here we analyzed for the first time bindings within entire action episodes including stimulus, response, and effect. We found clear evidence for SR- and RE-binding, but no indication of integration between stimulus and effect. We conclude that representations of actions are structured according to the current task, possibly providing a base for learning mechanisms to draw on.


Action control Stimulus-response binding Response-effect binding Event file 


Author notes

Birte Moeller and Christian Frings, University of Trier, Universitätsring 15, D-54296 Trier, Germany. Wilfried Kunde and Roland Pfister, University of Würzburg, Röntgenring 11, D-97070 Würzburg, Germany.

The research reported in this article was supported by grants of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (FOR 2790 and MO 2839/2-2).


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Copyright information

© The Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Birte Moeller
    • 1
    Email author
  • Roland Pfister
    • 2
  • Wilfried Kunde
    • 2
  • Christian Frings
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of TrierTrierGermany
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyWürzburg UniversityWürzburgGermany

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