- The effect of speed-accuracy strategy on response interference control in Parkinson's disease
- Volume | Issue number
- 47 | 8-9
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Studies that used conflict paradigms such as the Eriksen Flanker task show that many individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD) have pronounced difficulty resolving the conflict that arises from the simultaneous activation of mutually exclusive responses. This finding fits well with contemporary views that postulate a key role for the basal ganglia in action selection. The present experiment aims to specify the cognitive processes that underlie action selection deficits among PD patients in the context of variations in speed-accuracy strategy. PD patients (n = 28) and healthy controls (n = 17) performed an arrow version of the flanker task under task instructions that either emphasized speed or accuracy of responses. Reaction time (RT) and accuracy rates decreased with speed compared to accuracy instructions, although to a lesser extent for the PD group. Differences in flanker interference effects among PD and healthy controls depended on speed-accuracy strategy. Compared to the healthy controls, PD patients showed larger flanker interference effects under speed stress. RT distribution analyses suggested that PD patients have greater difficulty suppressing incorrect response activation when pressing for speed. These initial findings point to an important interaction between strategic and computational aspects of interference control in accounting for cognitive impairments of PD. The results are also compatible with recent brain imaging studies that demonstrate basal ganglia activity to co-vary with speed-accuracy adjustments.
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