Perceptual and Conceptual Priming of Cue Encoding in Task Switching

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Transition effects in task-cuing experiments can be partitioned into task switching and cue repetition effects by using multiple cues per task. In the present study, the author shows that cue repetition effects can be partitioned into perceptual and conceptual priming effects. In 2 experiments, letters or numbers in their uppercase/lowercase or word/numeral forms, respectively, served as cues for perceptual categorization tasks (e.g., the letters B, b, E, and e were cues for a color judgment and the letters D, d, G, and g were cues for a shape judgment). Some cues represented the same concept but had different percepts, allowing nominal repetitions to occur across trials (e.g., d followed by D). Conceptual priming effects were measured by comparing relational repetitions (e.g., G followed by D) with nominal repetitions, whereas perceptual priming effects were measured by comparing nominal repetitions with physical repetitions (e.g., D followed by D). Large conceptual and perceptual priming effects on response time were observed. Implications of the results for understanding cue encoding in task switching situations are discussed.

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