Distractor interference in selective reaching: dissociating distance and grouping effects

R.F. Keulen*, J.J.M.E. Adam, M.H. Fischer, H. Kuipers, J. Jolles

*Corresponding author for this work

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Distractor interference in selective reaching: dissociating distance and grouping effects.

Keulen RF, Adam JJ, Fischer MH, Kuipers H, Jolles J.

Department of Movement Sciences, Maastricht University, PO Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands. ron.keulen@bw.unimass.nl

In the present experiment, the authors sought to differentiate between a distance and a grouping explanation for the symmetric versus asymmetric patterns of distractor interference in selective reaching. Participants (N = 16) pointed to a green target that appeared either with or without a red distractor. Target-distractor separation was manipulated within an array of 5 closely grouped stimulus boxes, and distractor interference (difference in performance between trials with and trials without a distractor) was measured in reaction time, movement time, percentage errors, and movement endpoints. Small distances (5 mm) between target and distractor yielded a symmetric pattern of interference, whereas large distances (20 mm) yielded an asymmetric pattern, with more interference from near than from far distractors. Those findings support the distance account of distractor interference and refute the grouping account.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-126
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Motor Behavior
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003

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