A Simon effect for depth in three-dimensional displays.

Jessica Rigon, Stefano Massaccesi, Carlo Umiltà

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated whether the Simon effect occurs for the depth dimension in a 3-dimensional display. In Experiment 1, participants executed discriminative responses to 2 stimuli, a cross and a sphere, both 3-dimensional, which were perceived to be located near or far with respect to the participant's body. The response keys were located near and far along the participant's midline. Apparent stimulus spatial location (near or far) was irrelevant to the task. Results showed a depth Simon effect, attributable to the apparent stimulus spatial location. Experiment 2 replicated Experiment 1 with a different procedure. The 2 stimuli, a triangle and a rectangle, were 2-dimensional and were perceived as being located near or far from the participant's midline; the response keys were located near and far along the participant's midline. Results showed again the depth Simon effect. Experiment 3 was a control condition in which the 2 stimuli, drawings of a lamp and of a chair, had the same size, regardless of whether they appeared to be near or far. The depth Simon effect was replicated. A distribution analysis on data of Experiment 3 showed that the Simon effect increased as reaction times became longer. In Experiment 4, the position of the 2 stimuli, a circle and a cross, varied on the horizontal (right or left) dimension, whereas the position of the 2 responses varied along the depth (near or far) dimension. No Simon effect was found.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-403
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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