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The influence of motivation and prior learning on response selection in a go/no-go task

Reid, Emma (2010) The influence of motivation and prior learning on response selection in a go/no-go task. University of Bangor.

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Abstract

We make decisions everyday which involve us either producing a specific behaviour or withholding certain behaviours, based upon the desired goal. These decisions are strongly influenced by motivation and the learned associations between stimuli and their predicted value. Here, we measured the response times and error rates for stimuli assigned either a ‘go’ or ‘no-go’ status, after being seen in a value learning task involving the win or loss of points. We found that low gain associated stimuli significantly enhanced response times compared to low loss associated stimuli, and that high loss associated stimuli elicited significantly more errors from participants, compared to low loss associated stimuli. It was concluded that arousal is the key factor in motivating behaviour, and when we are aroused, we have less control over our actions.

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