Exploring a potential relationship between dual tasking and visual binding
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The purpose of this study was to understand if dual tasking and visual binding share a similar cognitive architecture. Here, it was hypothesised that the binding process would alleviate the executive demands associated with dual tasking, and consequently reduce the dual task cost (i.e., the reduction in task accuracy). Participants were asked to remember object and colour information concurrently. In the control condition, objects and colours were not related, but the “typical” condition used objects and colours that were found to be reliably associated, and would therefore be likely to reflect hardwired bindings in long term memory. There was no significant difference between the dual task cost for each condition, but some participants clearly benefited from the presence of associated colours and objects. Furthermore, this benefit was predicted by a participants’ verbal span and vividness of visual imagery. However, it is unclear whether the benefit is attributable to associative priming or visual binding, impeding any implications for the relationship between dual tasking and visual binding. As such, future directions are discussed that could hopefully delineate the cause of the benefit in the typical dual task condition. In spite of this ambiguity, the data nonetheless revealed ways in which dual task cost can be reduced; this in turn carries implications for the production and use of efficient dual task strategies.