The Simon effect has most often been investigated with key-press responses and eye fixation. In the present study, we asked how the type of eye movement and the type of manual response affect response selection in a Simon task. We investigated three eye movement instructions (spontaneous, saccade, and fixation) while participants performed goal-directed (i.e., reaching) or symbolic (i.e., finger-lift) responses. Initially, no oculomotor constraints were imposed, and a Simon effect was present for both response types. Next, eye movements were constrained. Participants had to either make a saccade toward the stimulus or maintain gaze fixed in the screen centre. While a congruency effect was always observed in reaching responses, it disappeared in finger-lift responses. We suggest that the redirection of saccades from the stimulus to the correct response location in noncorresponding trials contributes to the Simon effect. Because of eye-hand coupling, this occurred in a mandatory manner with reaching responses but not with finger-lift responses. Thus, the Simon effect with key-presses disappears when participants do what they typically do-look at the stimulus.
- Reaching movements
- Simon effect
- Symbolic responses
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Physiology (medical)