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The influence of task relevance and stimulus information on habituation of the visual and the skin conductance orienting reaction

By M.N. Verbaten, J.C. Woestenburg and W. Sjouw


This study investigated the hypothesis that task-relevant stimuli induce orienting reactions (ORs) that are stronger and more resistant to habituation when their information content is high than when it is low. Task-relevance was given to the stimuli by rewarding the subjects for correct recognition at the end of the experiment. The dependent variables in this study were the visual orienting reaction (VOR), the skin conductance reaction (SCR), their habituation scores and the number of spontaneous fluctuations in skin conductance (SFs). 28 subjects received two blocks of 14 trials. Half the subjects received the higher information condition first and then the lower information condition, while the other half received the reversed order. The VOR habituated quickly and was not significantly influenced by information value. SCR amplitudes were larger and SCR-habituation slower to stimuli containing more information. The results were interpreted as supporting the hypothesis that the SCR is associated with a secondary phase of the orienting process

Topics: Farmacie
Year: 1980
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