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  • 1
    ISSN: 1469-8986
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine , Psychology
    Notes: The present study was aimed at deciphering whether the delay in choice reaction time (RT) and the silent period (SP) caused by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the motor cortex in the ongoing electromyogram are due to the same physiological mechanism. To this end, the effect of TMS was studied in 6 healthy volunteers performing a between-hand choice RT task. Specific predictions were derived from a logic inspired from the “postponed stages” hypothesis (Pashler & Johnson, 1989). This logic predicts a correlation between SP duration and RT when the stimulated cortex is involved in the response, and a stronger correlation when the stimulation is delivered later during the RT interval. The effect of TMS on RT was twofold: At early stimulation times, the stimulation shortened the RT and this effect was independent of the involvement of the stimulated motor cortex in the subsequent response. At later stimulation times, TMS had a disruptive effect, provided that the stimulated cortex was involved in the response. When the stimulated cortex was involved in the response, there was a correlation between SP and RT; this correlation was stronger when the stimulation occurred later. In contrast, there was no correlation between these two variables when the stimulated cortex was not involved.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1469-8986
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine , Psychology
    Notes: The activity of the agonist muscles was recorded during the performance of a two-choice visual reaction time (RT) task in which the compatibility of the stimulus–response mapping was manipulated. Correct trials were distinguished according to whether or not the activation of the agonist of the required response was preceded by an activation of the agonist of the nonrequired response. Double activation trials were more numerous for the incompatible than for the compatible mapping. Furthermore, these trials yielded longer RTs than the single muscular activation trials. These results suggest that initial activations of nonrequired responses are more frequently aborted and corrected when the mapping is incompatible than when it is compatible. This finding supports the dimensional overlap model of stimulus–response compatibility (S. Kornblum, T. Hasbroucq, & A. Osman, 1990).
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1469-8986
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine , Psychology
    Notes: In a choice reaction time (RT) task, electromyographic (EMG) recordings allowed us to fractionate RT into two subcomponents, namely premotor time and motor time. This has been done for correct trials and errors. The analysis of the EMG burst and motor time (between EMG onset and overt response) showed that the EMG burst amplitude was reduced and the motor time was longer for errors than for correct responses. In the same way as posterror slowing on the RT was interpreted as revealing between-trials changes in executive control, the present data provide direct evidence for an on-line, within-trial, executive control.
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  • 4
    ISSN: 1469-8986
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine , Psychology
    Notes: The aim of the present study was to investigate the modulations in amplitude of H reflexes elicited in a hand muscle, the flexor pollicis brevis, during the performance of a choice reaction time (RT) task in which this muscle was directly involved. Ten subjects were to choose between a left- or a right-thumb key-press according to the lateral location of a flash of light. The stimulus–response mapping was either compatible or incompatible. Hoffman reflexes were elicited at different times during the RT by stimulation of the median nerve. Twenty-five milliseconds before the voluntary response, the amplitude of the H reflex suddenly increased when the muscle was involved in the response and decreased symmetrically when the muscle was not involved in the response. Mapping compatibility exerted no detectable influence on the changes in spinal excitability. The latter result supports the assumptions that are at the core of Sternberg's additive factor method.
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