Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Motor and Executive Control in Repetitive Timing of Brief Intervals
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5366-1169
2013 (English)In: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, ISSN 0096-1523, E-ISSN 1939-1277, Vol. 39, no 2, 365-380 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We investigated the causal role of executive control functions in the production of brief time intervals by means of a concurrent task paradigm. To isolate the influence of executive functions on timing from motor coordination effects, we dissociated executive load from the number of effectors used in the dual task situation. In 3 experiments, participants produced isochronous intervals ranging from 524 to 2,000 ms with either the left or the right hand. The concurrent task consisted of the production of either a pseudorandom (high cognitive load) or a simple repeated (low cognitive load) spatial sequence of key presses, while also maintaining a regular temporal sequence. This task was performed with either a single hand (unimanual) or with both hands simultaneously (bimanual). Interference in terms of increased timing variability caused by the concurrent task was observed only in the bimanual condition. We verified that motor coordination in bimanual tasks alone could not account for the interference. Timing interference only appeared when (a) more than 1 effector was involved and (b) there were simultaneous task demands that recruited executive functions. Task interference was not seen if only 1 of these 2 conditions was met. Thus, our results suggest that executive functions are not directly involved in motor timing, but can indirectly affect timing performance when they are required to schedule complex motor coordination.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Psychological Association (APA), 2013. Vol. 39, no 2, 365-380 p.
Keyword [en]
timing, dual task interference, executive functions, motor coordination, divided attention
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-68473DOI: 10.1037/a0029142ISI: 000316519400008OAI: diva2:618091
Available from: 2013-04-25 Created: 2013-04-22 Last updated: 2016-01-13Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Holm, LinusMadison, Guy
By organisation
Department of Psychology
In the same journal
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 79 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link