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Zehetleitner, Michael; Ratko-Dehnert, Emil; Müller, Hermann J. (2015): Modeling violations of the race model inequality in bimodal paradigms: co-activation from decision and non-decision components. In: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Vol. 9, 119
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Abstract

The redundant-signals paradigm (RSP) is designed to investigate response behavior in perceptual tasks in which response-relevant targets are defined by either one or two features, or modalities. The common finding is that responses are speeded for redundantly compared to singly defined targets. This redundant-signals effect (RSE) can be accounted for by race models if the response times do not violate the race model inequality (RMI). When there are violations of the RMI, race models are effectively excluded as a viable account of the RSE. The common alternative is provided by co-activation accounts, which assume that redundant target signals are integrated at some processing stage. However, "co-activation" has mostly been only indirectly inferred and the accounts have only rarely been explicitly modeled; if they were modeled, the RSE has typically been assumed to have a decisional locus. Yet, there are also indications in the literature that the RSE might originate, at least in part, at a non-decisional or motor stage. In the present study, using a distribution analysis of sequential-sampling models (ex-Wald and Ratcliff Diffusion model), the locus of the RSE was investigated for two bimodal (audio-visual) detection tasks that strongly violated the RMI, indicative of substantial co-activation. Three model variants assuming different loci of the RSE were fitted to the quantile reaction time proportions: a decision, a non-decision, and a combined variant both to vincentized group as well as individual data. The results suggest that for the two bimodal detection tasks, co-activation has a shared decisional and non-decisional locus. These findings point to the possibility that the mechanisms underlying the RSE depend on the specifics (task, stimulus, conditions, etc.) of the experimental paradigm.