15 undergraduates performed a paced digit-transformation task at 2 levels of difficulty under an overt or covert response requirement. Time-locked recordings of heart rate and skin resistance showed heart-rate deceleration during the information-intake phase of the task and acceleration during cognitive processing. Skin resistance showed a generalized arousal pattern during both information intake and processing. Response magnitudes in both measures were generally enhanced in the more difficult condition and under the requirement to make an overt response indicating task fulfillment. Results support J. I. Lacey's (see 33:4) hypothesis of directional fractionation of autonomic response as a function of the internal-external attention demands of imposed tasks. (16 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).
- digit transformation task, heart rate & skin resistance, J. Lacey's directional fractionation of autonomic response
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