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    Spatial parameters at the basis of social transfer of learning.

    J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 2015 Jun 13;41(3):840-9. Epub 2015 Apr 13.
    Department of Communication and Economics, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia.
    Recent research indicates that practicing on a joint spatial compatibility task with an incompatible stimulus-response mapping affects subsequent joint Simon task performance, eliminating the social Simon effect. It has been well established that in individual contexts, for transfer of learning to occur, participants need to practice an incompatible association between stimulus and response positions. The mechanisms underlying transfer of learning in joint task performance are, however, less well understood. The present study was aimed at assessing the relative contribution of 3 different spatial relations characterizing the joint practice context: stimulus-response, stimulus-participant, and participant-response relations. In 3 experiments, the authors manipulated the stimulus-response, stimulus-participant, and response-participant associations. We found that learning from the practice task did not transfer to the subsequent task when during practice stimulus-response associations were spatially incompatible and stimulus-participant associations were compatible (Experiment 1). However, a transfer of learning was evident when stimulus-participant associations were spatially incompatible. This occurred both when response-participant associations were incompatible (Experiment 2) and when they were compatible (Experiment 3). These results seem to support an agent corepresentation account of correspondence effects emerging in joint settings since they suggest that, in social contexts, critical to obtain transfer-of-learning effects is the spatial relation between stimulus and participant positions while the spatial relation between stimulus and response positions is irrelevant.
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