Switcher Task

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Screen shot of PEBL's Switcher Task


[edit] About

The goal of this task is to compare the ability to flexibly switch between decision rules. Participants must choose the next stimulus based on a rule that either rotates consistently between two rules, consistently between three rules, or inconsistently between three rules.

[edit] Notes

Results of Anderson et al (2012) showed that the random rule switching condition appeared fairly resistent to practice across 8-12 sessions.

[edit] Data Output

Switcher produces two output files, the switch-X.csv file contains a data record from each trial, and the switch-summary.csv file contains a line for every testing round. They appear below:

  02,Tue Mar 26 11:29:39 2013,1,12,0,0,0,9,2776,32739,2336.5
  02,Tue Mar 26 11:30:20 2013,1,12,0,0,0,5,16053,24913,1985.5
  02,Tue Mar 26 11:31:04 2013,1,12,0,0,0,9,13954,30208,2227
  • testtiype is the main IV of interest, where the different codes indicate the different rounds of the test (1=2-feature, 2=3-feature, 3=3-feature random)
  • numcues tells you how many stimuli were on the screen
  • numerr is how many errors were made
  • matchlast is how many times the error matched the previous feature
  • matchany is how many times the error matched on any feature
  • tooslow is how often the response was
  • waittime is how long they took before making their first move.
  • perftime is how long they took once they made their first move to complete the round
  • medtime is the median RT in ms for each response (i.e., after the first)

Of greatest interest are two DVS: perftime and numerr (how long they took and how many mistakes they made. Matchlast records how many times did an error match the previous rule, which is sort of like a perseveration error found in many tasks.

[edit] References

Anderson, K., Deane, K., Lindley, D., Loucks, B., & Veach, E. (2012). PEBL Technical Report Series [On-line], #2011-01. The effects of time of day and practice on cognitive abilities: The PEBL Tower of London, Trail-making, and Switcher tasks Retrieved from http://sites.google.com/site/pebltechnicalreports/home/2012/pebl-technical-report-2012-04.

[edit] To Cite

Mueller, S. T. (2013). The PEBL Switcher Task [software]. Downloaded from http://pebl.sourceforge.net

[edit] See Also

PEBL Test Battery

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