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Psychol Res. 2000;63(2):148-58.

Auditory stimulus-response compatibility: is there a contribution of stimulus-hand correspondence?

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Psychology Department, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1364, USA.


Simon, Hinrichs, and Craft found that when subjects responded to a tone in the left or right ear with a left or right keypress, both ear-response-location correspondence and ear-hand correspondence affected reaction time. This outcome is in contrast to results obtained for auditory and visual Simon tasks (i.e., tasks in which stimulus location is irrelevant) as well as results obtained in visual stimulus-response (S-R) compatibility studies, which show only an effect of spatial S-R correspondence. Experiment 1 was a replication of Simon et al.'s experiment in which spatial mapping and hand placement (uncrossed, crossed) were varied. The results were inconsistent with those of Simon et al., showing no ear-hand compatibility effect. Experiment 2 was a second replication with an additional condition examined in which the stimuli were visual locations. The results showed no contribution of stimulus-hand correspondence for either auditory or visual stimuli. Experiment 3 was a replication of another experiment by Simon et al. in which tone pitch was relevant and tone location irrelevant. Like Simon et al.'s data, our results showed no indication that stimulus-hand correspondence is a significant factor. Overall, our results imply that regardless of whether tone location is relevant or irrelevant, ear-response-location correspondence is the only factor that contributes to S-R compatibility in auditory two-choice reaction tasks.

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