Tool Use and Stimulus-Response Compatibility



Professor Jochen Müsseler (RWTH Aachen University, Work and Cognitive Psychology)

In collaboration with

  S-R-Compatibility Copyright: A&K


Modern technology often creates tasks with high demands on motor skills. Examples are endoscopic or laparoscopic surgery in which the surgeon operates under indirect vision. Not only that the actual hand movements are transformed into relevant movements of the instruments, distorted perspectives and optics hampers additionally movement execution. Such visuomotor transformations are the most obvious challenge of modern work. An extreme form of visuomotor transformation is an incompatible configuration generated by tool use. To reach at the yellow dot with the T-lever in Figure A, the hand grip must be moved to the left. Stimulus (S) and direction of movement (R) are therefore opposite (incompatible). In contrast, Figure B presents a compatible arrangement: stimulus (S) and direction of movement (R) match. We investigate whether and how such incompatibilities affect human information processing.

Selected Publications

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