Processing of Stimulus Properties. Evidence for Dual-Task Integrality

Arthur F. Kramer, Christopher D. Wickens, Emanuel Donchin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The conditions under which dual-task integrality can be fostered were assessed in a study in which we manipulated four factors likely to influence the integrality between tasks: intertask redundancy, the spatial proximity of primary and secondary task displays, the degree to which primary and secondary task displays constitute a single object, and the resource demands of the two tasks. The resource allocation policy is inferred from changes in the amplitude of the P300 component of the event-related brain potential. Twelve subjects participated in three experimental sessions in which they performed both single and dual tasks. The primary task was a pursuit step tracking task. The secondary tasks required subjects to discriminate between different intensities or different spatial positions of a stimulus. Task pairs that required the processing of different properties of the same object resulted in better performance than task pairs that required the processing of different objects. Furthermore, these same object task pairs led to a positive relation between primary task difficulty and the resources allocated to secondary task stimuli. Intertask redundancy and the physical proximity of task displays produced similar effects of reduced magnitude.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)393-408
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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