Evaluating Cognitive Action Control Using Eye-Movement Analysis: An Oculomotor Adaptation of the Simon Task

Abstract : Cognitive action control has been extensively studied using conflict tasks such as the Simon task. In most recent studies, this process has been investigated in the light of the dual route hypothesis and more specifically of the activation-suppression model using distributional analyses. Some authors have suggested that cognitive action control assessment is not specific to response modes. In this study we adapted the Simon task, using oculomotor responses instead of manual responses, in order to evaluate whether the resolution of conflict induced by a two-dimensional stimulus yielded similar results to what is usually reported in tasks with manual responses. Results obtained from 43 young healthy participants revealed the typical congruence effect, with longer reaction times (RT) and lesser accuracy in the incongruent condition. Conditional accuracy functions (CAF) also revealed a higher proportion of fast errors in the incongruent condition and delta plots confirmed that conflict resolution was easier, as the time taken to respond increased. These results are very similar to what has been reported in the literature. Furthermore, our observations are in line with the assumptions of the activation-suppression model, in which automatic activation in conflict situations is captured in the fastest responses and selective inhibition of cognitive action control needs time to build up. Altogether, our results suggest that conflict resolution has core mechanisms whatever the response mode, manual or oculomotor. Using oculomotor responses in such tasks could be of interest when investigating cognitive action control in patients with severe motor disorders
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Joan Duprez, Jean-François Houvenaghel, Florian Naudet, Thibaut Dondaine, Manon Auffret, et al.. Evaluating Cognitive Action Control Using Eye-Movement Analysis: An Oculomotor Adaptation of the Simon Task. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Frontiers, 2016, 10, pp.84. ⟨10.3389/fnhum.2016.00084⟩. ⟨hal-01295664⟩

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