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Journal Article

Multiple bottlenecks in information processing? An electrophysiological examination


Schubert,  Torsten
MPI of Cognitive Neuroscience (Leipzig, -2003), The Prior Institutes, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Sommer, W., Leuthold, H., & Schubert, T. (2001). Multiple bottlenecks in information processing? An electrophysiological examination. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 8(1), 81-88. doi:10.3758/BF03196142.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0010-C90D-9
When two stimuli are to be processed in rapid succession, reaction time (RT) to the second stimulus is delayed. The slowing of RT has been attributed to a single processing bottleneck at response selection (RS) or to a central bottleneck following the initiation of the first response. The hypothesis of a response initiation bottleneck is mainly based on reports of underadditive interactions between stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) and the number of stimulus—response alternatives (simple vs. two-choice response). The present study tested the hypothesis of a response initiation bottleneck by recording the lateralized readiness potential (LRP), a brain wave, emerging during or immediately following RS. The LRP findings were consistent with a central bottleneck but did not support the late bottleneck hypothesis. Instead, the LRP provided direct evidence that the underadditive interaction of number of alternatives and SOA is due to an increase of response anticipations in the simple response condition.