Date Awarded

Summer 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.Sc.)




Paul D Kieffaber

Committee Member

Matthew Hilimire

Committee Member

Christopher Ball


Despite decades of empirical investigation, there remains active debate about the limitations to dual-task processing. The primary aim of the present research was to determine the roles of attentional and response-set components of task-set in dual-task processing. Through three experiments, we explored the relationships between attentional- and response-set switching in the context of a classic dual-task paradigm. Experiment I (N = 68) validated our novel integration of a dual-task task-switching paradigm. Experiment II (N = 64) replicated and extended Experiment I by integrating a single task subsection of the procedure. Finally, Experiment III (N = 23) integrated electroencephalographic measures of the P3 and lateralized readiness potential (LRP) in attempts to further our understanding of these complex cognitive functions. Results support the robustness of the psychological refractory phenomenon and task-switching resource costs. Evidence supports that both attentional task-set and response-set components possess unique variance in reaction times. Further, the data suggests that attentional task-set selection processing does not allow for parallel processing. Electrophysiological evidence fails to falsify the proposed attentional task-set bottleneck theory. Implications of these results address contemporary disagreements and inconsistencies in the extant literature.



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