Exp Brain Res 2011 Jun 10;211(3-4):337-43. Epub 2011 May 10.
Dipartimento di Comunicazione e Economia, Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Via Allegri 9, 42121 Reggio Emilia, Italy.
Two experiments were conducted to assess whether the joint Simon effect is composed of facilitation and interference and whether facilitation is increased by a joint spatially compatible practice performed before performing the joint Simon task. In both experiments, participants were required to perform a Simon task along another person. Trials could be corresponding, non-corresponding, and neutral. In Experiment 1, participants performed only the Simon task. In Experiment 2, participants first practiced on a joint spatial compatibility task with a compatible mapping and, after a 5-min delay, transferred to a joint Simon task. Results indicated that the joint Simon effect consisted primarily of interference, which was significantly increased by a spatially compatible practice performed jointly. These results allow us to better define in what ways the presence of the other influences performance, in showing that when participants perform a task along with another individual, they display a disadvantage (i.e., slower RTs) when they have to respond to stimuli appearing on the other agent's side.