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Journal Article

Disentangling cognitive from motor control: Influence of response modality on updating, inhibiting, and shifting


Rietbergen,  Marpessa
International Max Planck Research School for Language Sciences, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;
Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, External Organizations;

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Rietbergen, M., Roelofs, A., Den Ouden, H., & Cools, R. (2018). Disentangling cognitive from motor control: Influence of response modality on updating, inhibiting, and shifting. Acta Psychologica, 191, 124-130. doi:10.1016/j.actpsy.2018.09.008.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-4E35-C
It is unclear whether cognitive and motor control are parallel and interactive or serial and independent processes. According to one view, cognitive control refers to a set of modality-nonspecific processes that act on supramodal representations and precede response modality-specific motor processes. An alternative view is that cognitive control represents a set of modality-specific operations that act directly on motor-related representations, implying dependence of cognitive control on motor control. Here, we examined the influence of response modality (vocal vs. manual) on three well-established subcomponent processes of cognitive control: shifting, inhibiting, and updating. We observed effects of all subcomponent processes in reaction times. The magnitude of these effects did not differ between response modalities for shifting and inhibiting, in line with a serial, supramodal view. However, the magnitude of the updating effect differed between modalities, in line with an interactive, modality-specific view. These results suggest that updating represents a modality-specific operation that depends on motor control, whereas shifting and inhibiting represent supramodal operations that act independently of motor control.