Do Pitch and Space Share Common Code?: Role of feedback in SPARC effect

AbstractPrevious research shows that performance is better when a high pitch is responded with up or right responses and a low pitch is responded with down or left responses, called the spatial-pitch association of response codes (SPARC) effect. Despite the intuitive coupling of perception-action, studies investigating the SPARC effect have, however, used feedback to manipulate the stimulus-response mapping. Feedback contradicts the purpose of intuitive stimulus-response mapping by enabling short-term learning. This study primarily investigates the role of feedback on SPARC effect. We believe that feedback can facilitate incongruent mapping and can, therefore, reduce the cost between incongruent and congruent mapping resulting in a diminished SPARC effect. Our results, however, show that feedback has no influence on the SPARC effect indicating that long-term associations can not be overcome by short-term learning due to robust perception-action coupling. Further, unlike previous studies, we observed a strong horizontal SPARC effect in non-musicians as well.

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