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Semantic generalization of stimulus-task bindings

People find it difficult to switch between two tasks, even if they have time to prepare--the so-called residual task shift cost. We studied a switch of tasks from picture naming to word reading, using picture-word Stroop stimuli. Consistent with previous findings, we demonstrate that a large part of the observed task shift cost was due to priming from prior stimulus-response episodes, in which the current task stimulus was encountered in a competing task. We further show that this task-priming effect generalizes to semantically related stimuli, which opens the possibility that most or all of these residual shift costs reflect some sort of generalized proactive interference from previous stimulus-task episodes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)



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