Response selection processes under 'free choice' task conditions

Electronic versions


  • Stuart Mourton


The majority of previous literature on response selection processes indicates that studies that have utilized the precue paradigm have done so under forced choice conditions. Under these condition the decision making process undertaken by the participant is influenced by the stimulus presented, and ultimately removed. The Experiments contained in this thesis utilized a free choice paradigm to investigate response selection when participants have a choice of available responses from which to select. The studies described in Chapter 2 highlight the influence of precue location on response selection and grouping. Response frequenc ies were significantly higher for precue matched locations and effectors under free choice conditions than unmatched locations and effectors. The Experiments in Chapter 3 involved flexion and extension movements of fingers, with precues now indicating specific movement directions, as well as effector/ location parameters. Results indicated that grouping of responses occurs due to spatial features shared by the precue and stimulus, as opposed to effector features. Finally, the results of the Experiments in Chapter 4 indicate the influence that grouping of target objects by identity, colour and shape have on response selection. Response targets that shared features with a precued target were selected over unmatched targets. These Experiments indicate that under free choice situations, re sponse selection process are highly influenced by precued locations and objects, with precue/target spatial relationships appearing to be stronger than precue/target effector relationships


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
    Award date2009