Eimer, M., & Schlaghecken, F. (2001). Response facilitation and inhibition in manual, vocal, and oculomotor performance: Evidence for a modality-unspecific mechanism. Journal of Motor Behavior, 33, 16-26.

It was studied whether evidence for response facilitation and subsequent inhibition elicited by masked prime stimuli can be observed for output modalities other than manual responding. Masked primes were followed by target stimuli that required a two-choice manual, saccadic, or vocal response. Performance was measured for compatible trials where primes and targets were identical, and incompatible trials where they were mapped to opposite responses. When primes were presented centrally, performance benefits for incompatible trials were obtained, while for peripherally presented primes, performance benefits were found in compatible trial. This pattern of results was obtained for manual responses as well as for saccadic eye movements (Experiment 1), demonstrating that these effects are not mediated by specialised dorsal pathways involved in visuomanual control. An analogous pattern of effects was found when manual and vocal responses were compared (Experiment 2). As vocal responding is controlled by inferotemporal cortex, this result shows that prime-target compatibility effects are not primarily mediated by the dorsal stream. They are assumed to reflect modality-unspecific visuomotor links that allow a rapid activation of motor responses which may later be subject to inhibition.




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