Modularity beyond perception: Evidence from single task interference paradigms

Hagit Magen*, Asher Cohen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


We combine the Dimension-Action (DA) model with translational models to account for both the Stroop and the flanker effects. The basic assumption of the model is that there are distinct visual modules, each of which is endowed with both perception and response selection processes. We contrast this model with an alternative widespread view, the standard view, according to which the same response selection processes are shared by all tasks. The two views have different predictions concerning the flanker and Stroop tasks. Seven experiments test these predictions. The first five experiments show that there is a fundamental difference between the typical Stroop and flanker effects. Moreover, these experiments show that words denoting colors can affect print colors only when they are required for naming or when participants verbally mediate the print color task. Experiments 6 and 7 show that an analogous interaction between color and shape exists in the flanker task. These experiments as well as previous studies are consistent with the DA model and the modular view and pose serious difficulties for the standard view. Wider implications of a visual modular architecture are discussed as well.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1-36
Number of pages36
JournalCognitive Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Pierre Jolicoeur, Frank Durgin, and Dave Irwin for their helpful comments on an earlier version of this paper. This study was funded by a grant from Israel Science Foundation to Asher Cohen.


  • Flanker task
  • Modularity
  • Stroop
  • Visual dimensions


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