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Revealing mechanisms underlying backward crosstalk effects in multitasking (2018-2021)



Markus Janczyk

Prof. Dr. Markus Janczyk                          

Principal Investigator

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Rolf Ulrich

Prof. Dr. Rolf Ulrich                          

Principal Investigator

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Valentin Koob 

Valentin Koob

PhD Candidate

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 Moritz Durst

Moritz Durst 

Collaborate PhD Candidate

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Abstract (2018-2021)

Multitasking, that is, doing several tasks at the same time, usually comes with performance costs in at least one of the tasks. These costs are often explained with bottlenecks in human information processing. Theoretically revealing are thus phenomena showing that characteristics of a secondary task already effect performance in the primary task, so-called backward crosstalk effects (BCEs). Based on prior work we distinguish two types of BCEs: One variant is based on compatibility-relations between both tasks, and results from automatic response activation in the secondary task that interacts with response selection in the first task. The second variant results from generalizing inhibitory processes in case of no-go response in task 2 that slows down response execution in the first task. The main purposes of this project are (a) experimental tests of this distinction and (b) the development of mathematical models of these backward crosstalk effects.


Project Output


Brüning, J., Koob, V., Manzey, D., & Janczyk, M. (2022). Serial and parallel processing in multitasking: Concepts and the impact of interindividual differences on task and stage levels. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform, 48(7), 724-742.

Mahesan, D., Janczyk, M.. & Fischer, R. (2021).Two types of between-task conflict trigger respective processing adjustments within one dual-task. Acta Psychologica, 103450, 1-11.

Koob, V., Ulrich, R., & Janczyk, M. (2021). Response activation and activation–transmission in response-based backward crosstalk: Analyses and simulations with an extended diffusion model. Psychological Review.

Schonard, C., Ulrich, R., & Janczyk, M. (2020). The Backward Crosstalk Effect does not depend on the degree of a preceding response conflict. Experimental Psychology, 67, 277–291.

Koob, V., Durst, M., Bratzke, D., Ulrich, R., & Janczyk, M. (2020). S1-R2 and R1-R2 backward crosstalk both affect the central processing stage. Journal of Cognition, 3(1).

Janczyk, M., & Kunde, W. (2020). Dual tasking from a goal perspective. Psychological Review, 127, 1079-1096.

Durst, M., Ulrich, R., & Janczyk, M. (in press). To prepare or not to prepare? When preparation of a response in Task 2 induces extra performance costs in Task 1. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

Durst, M., & Janczyk, M. (2019). Two types of Backward Crosstalk: Sequential modulations and evidence from the diffusion model. Acta Psychologica, 193, 132-152. 

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