One thing that separates human beings from the rest of the animal world is our ability to control behavior by referencing internal plans, goals, and rules. This ability, which is crucial to our success in a complex social environment, depends on the purposeful generation of "task sets"-states of mental readiness that allow each of us to engage with the world in a particular way or achieve a particular aim. This book reports the latest research regarding the activation, maintenance, and suppression of task sets. Chapters from many of the world's leading researchers in task switching and cognitive control investigate key issues in the field, from how we select the most relevant task when presented with distracting alternatives, to how we maintain focus on a task ("eyes on the prize") and switch to a new one when our goals or external circumstances change. Chapters also explore the brain structures responsible for these abilities, how they develop during childhood, and whether they decline due to normal aging or neurological disorders.
Of interest especially to scholars and students of cognitive psychology, the volume offers thorough, multi-disciplinary coverage of contemporary research and theories concerning this fundamental yet mysterious aspect of human brain function and behavior.
James A. Grange is Lecturer in Cognitive Psychology at Keele University, UK. His research program focuses on cognitive control during task switching and addresses inhibitory control primarily. George Houghton is Senior Lecturer in Cognitive Psychology at Bangor University, Wales, UK. His research focuses on cognitive control of mental set, mechanisms of serial order in behavior, and computational modeling.
Chapter 1 - Task Switching & Cognitive Control: An Introduction ; James A. Grange & George Houghton ; Chapter 2 - Tasks, Task Sets, and the Mapping Between Them ; Darryl W. Schneider & Gordon D. Logan ; Chapter 3 - The Task-Cuing Paradigm: A User's Guide ; Nachshon Meiran ; Chapter 4 - The Mixing Cost as a Measure of Cognitive Control ; Paloma Mari-Beffa & Alexander Kirkham ; Chapter 5 - The Extended Runs Procedure and Restart Cost ; Erik M. Altmann ; Chapter 6 - Voluntary Task Wwitching ; Catherine M. Arrington, Kaitlin M. Reiman, & Starla M. Weaver ; Chapter 7 - Inhibitory Control in Task Switching ; Miriam Gade, Stefanie Schuch, Michel Duey, & Iring Koch ; Chapter 8 - Models of Cognitive Control in Task Switching ; James A. Grange & George Houghton ; Chapter 9 - Event-related Potentials Reveal Multiple Components of Proactive and ; Reactive Control in Task Switching ; Frini Karayanidis & Sharna D. Jamadar ; Chapter 10 - Neuroimaging Studies of Task Switching ; Franziska R. Richter & Nick Yeung ; Chapter 11 - Task Switching and Executive Dysfunction ; Abhijit Das & Glenn R. Wylie ; Chapter 12 - Task Switching in Psychiatric Disorders ; Susan M. Ravizza & Ruth E. Salo ; Chapter 13 - Cognitive Flexibility in Childhood and Adolescence ; Sabine Peters & Eveline A. Crone ; Chapter 14 - Task Switching and Aging ; Jutta Kray & Nicola K. Ferdinand