Dual-task slowing and the effects of cross-task compatibility

Rayna Azuma*, Wolfgang Prinz, Iring Koch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Recent studies have shown that visual encoding requires central processing, evidenced in the form of dual-task interference on response processes of a reaction time (RT) task. We report two experiments examining such dual-task interference: (1) at global level, to establish that visual encoding indeed requires central processing; and (2) at code level, to see whether two tasks may share the same representational codes. To this end, we manipulated the compatibility relation between the response codes for an auditory choice RT task and the stimulus codes for a logically independent visual motion detection task. The results showed significant dual-task slowing of the response for the auditory task, demonstrating the interference at a global level. The effects of cross-task compatibility (CTC) were obtained at the short stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA), showing that the RTs were faster for compatible trials. Furthermore, the CTC effect remained even when the visual stimulus did not need to be "consolidated" (Jolicoeur & Dell'Acqua, 1998) for reporting, while the response postponement effect was greatly reduced. We interpret these results as indicating that the present two tasks share both "central" processes and common representational codes, but that these two levels of dual-task interference can be dissociated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)693-713
Number of pages21
JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology Section A: Human Experimental Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004 May 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Psychology(all)


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