INABIS '98 Home Page
Your Poster Session
Related Symposia & Posters
Plenary Sessions
Exhibitors' Foyer
Personal Itinerary
New Search
The Effects of Task Requirements on the Dissociation Between Two Putative Measures of Resource Allocation

David L. Neumann1, Ottmar V. Lipp2, David A. T. Siddle3, & Mathew T. Martin-Iverson1,4,5

1 Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, The University of Western Australia, Australia
2 School of Psychology, The University of Queensland, Australia
3 The University of Sydney, Australia
4 Department of Psychology, The University of Western Australia, Australia
5 Department of Pharmacology, The University of Western Australia, Australia

Correspondence to: David Neumann (


A dissociation between two putative measures of resource allocation, electrodermal orienting and secondary task reaction time (RT), has been observed during a discrimination and counting task. The anomalous finding of this dissociation effect, secondary task RT, was investigated by varying the nature of the counting task. Participants (N = 24) were presented with circle and ellipse shapes. Group Count was asked to count how many times one shape was presented (task-relevant) and ignore all presentations of another shape (task-irrelevant). Group Longer was asked to count the number of longer-than-usual presentations of the task-relevant shape and ignore the task-irrelevant shape. Concurrent with the counting task, each group performed a RT task to an auditory probe. Secondary RT at probe positions of 50, 150, and 250 ms following shape onset was slower during task-irrelevant shapes than during task-relevant shapes. Secondary RT also showed at downward parallel trend across probe positions for each shape. These results did not differ between groups. The RT data are interpreted as reflecting a serial processing mechanism, not a resource limited mechanism, thus providing an explanation of the dissociation effect. The implications for resource allocation models or orienting and research on human workload interactions are discussed.

Poster Number: PAneumann0645
Keywords: orienting, electrodermal, secondary RT, resources, dissociation,

To top of page

| Discussion Board| Next Page| Your Poster Session