The Motor Locus of No-Go Backward Crosstalk

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A frequent observation in dual-task studies is the backward crosstalk effect (BCE), meaning that aspects of a secondary Task 2 influence Task 1 performance. Up to this point, 2 major types of the BCE were investigated: a BCE based on dimensional overlap between both stimuli and/or responses (the compatibility-based BCE), and a BCE based on whether Task 2 is a go or no-go task (the no-go BCE). Recent evidence suggests that the compatibility-based BCE has its locus inside the response selection stage. The available evidence for the locus of the no-go BCE is still mixed, however. To this end, the 3 experiments reported in the present study used an extended psychological refractory period (PRP) paradigm with 3 subsequent tasks. Applying the locus of slack logic in Experiment 1, the no-go BCE was not absorbed into the cognitive slack and, thus, a locus before response selection could be ruled out. Subsequently applying the effect propagation logic in Experiment 2 and 3, the no-go BCE arising in Task 1 was even inverted in Task 3. Because no propagation of the no-go BCE was observed, a locus before or in response selection could be ruled out. Thus, we conclude that the no-go BCE has its locus during motor execution. Because the no-go BCE and the compatibility-based BCE are located in different stages, we suggest that both types of the BCE do not share a common underlying mechanism.

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