Influence of time pressure in a simple response task, a choice-by-location task, and the Simon task

Robert Henricus Johannes van der Lubbe, Piotr Jaśkowski, Bernd Wauschkuhn, Rolf Verleger

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Examined the influence of strategy for a simple response task, a choice-by-location task, and the Simon task by varying time pressure in 11 Ss (mean age 28 yrs). Besides reaction time (RT) and accuracy, we measured response force and derived two measures from the event-related EEG potential to form an index for attentional orienting (posterior contralateral negativity: PCN) and the start of motor activation (the lateralized readiness potential: LRP). For the choice-by- location task and the Simon task, effects of time pressure were found on the response-locked LRP, but not on the onset of the PCN and the stimulus-locked LRP. Thus, strategy influences processing after the start of motor activation in choice tasks. A small effect of time pressure was found on the peak latency of the PCN in the Simon task, which suggests that time pressure may affect attentional orienting. In the simple response task, time pressure reduced the amplitude of the PCN. This finding suggests that strategy affects attentional orienting to stimuli when these stimuli are not highly relevant. Finally, the effect of time pressure on RT was much larger in the simple response task than in the other tasks, which may be ascribed to the possibility of preparing the required response in the simple response task.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)241-255
JournalJournal of psychophysiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Time pressure
  • Simon task
  • LRP
  • simple and choice reactions
  • IR-76629
  • Strategy

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