GIVE me your attention: Differentiating goal identification and goal execution components of the anti-saccade effect

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Abstract

The anti-saccade task is a commonly used method of assessing individual differences in cognitive control. It has been shown that a number of clinical disorders are characterised by increased anti-saccade cost. However, it remains unknown whether this reflects impaired goal identification or impaired goal execution, because, to date, no procedure has been developed to independently assess these two components of anti-saccade cost. The aim of the present study was to develop such an assessment task, which we term the Goal Identification Vs. Execution (GIVE) task. Fifty-one undergraduate students completed a conventional anti-saccade task, and our novel GIVE task. Our findings revealed that individual differences in anti-saccade goal identification costs and goal execution costs were uncorrelated, when assessed using the GIVE task, but both predicted unique variance in the conventional anti-saccade cost measure. These results confirm that the GIVE task is capable of independently assessing variation in the goal identification and goal execution components of the anti-saccade effect. We discuss how this newly introduced assessment procedure now can be employed to illuminate the specific basis of the increased anti-saccade cost that characterises various forms of clinical dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0222710
JournalPLoS One
Volume14
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

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