Surprise as an explanation to auditory novelty distraction and post-error slowing

Fabrice B.R. Parmentier, Martin R. Vasilev, Pilar Andrés

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Performance in sustained attention tasks is known to be slowed by the occurrence of unexpected task-irrelevant distractors (novelty distraction) and the detection of errors (posterror slowing), 2 wellestablished phenomena studied separately and regarded as reflecting distinct underpinning mechanisms. We measured novelty distraction and posterror slowing in an auditory-visual oddball task to test the hypothesis that they both involve an orienting response. Our results confirm that the 2 effects exhibit a positive interaction. We show that a trial-by-trial measure of surprise credibly accounts for our empirical data. We suggest that novelty distraction and posterror slowing both reflect an orienting response to unexpected events and a reappraisal of action plans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-200
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: General
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

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