Conscious error perception: The impact of response interference from a secondary task

Maria M. Robinson, David E. Irwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An erroneous response is not always accompanied by the conscious perception of the error being made. We examined whether increased response interference on a manual task improved the conscious perception of erroneous eye movements on a concurrent oculomotor task. In the first experiment, we examined whether a correlate of response interference, increased task difficulty alone, could improve perception of errors. We found no effect of task difficulty on self-monitoring. Results from a second experiment suggested that participants’ ability to monitor their eye movements improved with increased response interference, but post hoc analyses indicated that this was due to a decrease in corrective behaviors. Experiment 3 required participants to report directly on whether they had made an eye movement error, and we found that response interference perturbed, rather than improved, participants’ ability to report on their errors. Together, these findings contribute to models of error monitoring, revealing little support for the view that general increases in response interference or task difficulty are signals that contribute to the conscious detection of errors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)863-877
Number of pages15
JournalAttention, Perception, and Psychophysics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


  • Dual-task performance
  • Executive control
  • Visual awareness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Linguistics and Language


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