Chapter

Some Experimental Tools for Tracking Continuous Mental Trajectories

Michael Spivey

in The Continuity of Mind

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780195170788
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199786831 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195170788.003.0003
 Some Experimental Tools for Tracking Continuous Mental Trajectories

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This chapter emphasizes the importance of identifying the time scale at which a given behavior exhibits detectably graded transitions from state to state. It covers a variety of experimental methods that either record outcome-based measures from delimited tasks, such as reaction time and speed-accuracy tradeoff; continuous measures from continuous tasks, such as tracking of rhythmic motor movement; or continuous measures from delimited tasks, such as eye-tracking and reaching. Special attention is paid to eye-tracking and computer-mouse tracking in cognitive tasks. It is argued that motor planning and motor movement itself, even just pressing a button in a computer-based task, is coextensive with the cognitive processing that guides it.

Keywords: experimental methods; temporal dynamics; reaction time; electrophysiology; computer-mouse tracking; eye movements; reaching movements

Chapter.  12652 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuropsychology

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