Many researchers claim that task switching requires reconfiguration of the cognitive system. Others claim that task switching involves cue-based memory retrieval processes and not reconfiguration. We evaluate these competing claims by developing both reconfiguration and cue-based memory models in a common theoretical framework and by fitting the models to target functions, which show how performance on individual target stimuli varies depending on the task subjects perform on the targets. Our analyses show that the process of compound-cue retrieval – using the task cue and the target as joint retrieval cues to select a response from memory – is sufficient to explain target functions for parity and magnitude judgments of digits and that reconfiguration does not seem to add anything to the explanation. We address the generality of this conclusion and speculate about the conditions under which reconfiguration may be necessary for task switching.
How to Cite:
Logan, G.D. and Schneider, D.W., 2010. Distinguishing Reconfiguration and Compound-cue Retrieval in Task Switching. Psychologica Belgica, 50(3-4), pp.413–433. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/pb-50-3-4-413