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Professor Jeffrey Miller research interests

Jeff Miller

Email jeffrey.miller@otago.ac.nz
Tel +64 3 479 7997
Visit Professor Miller's profile

Divided attention and redundancy gain

When people divide their attention between two possible input stimuli, they react more rapidly when both stimuli are presented simultaneously than when just one is presented (ie, “redundancy gain effect”). Surprisingly, this phenomenon is especially large when the two redundant stimuli are presented to the two disconnected cerebral hemispheres of split-brain individuals. This project is concerned with teasing apart sensory versus motor causes of the redundancy gain effect.

Performance impairments in dual-task situations

When we try to do two tasks at the same time, our performance almost always suffers in at least one of the tasks. This project investigates how our cognitive processes are affected in such dual-task situations, in order to characterise precisely the reasons for these impairments.

Consciousness and the brain

Psychological and psychophysiological data have the potential to shed light on the age-old mind-body problem by elucidating the relationship between our brain states and our conscious awareness. I have recently reactivated an old interest in this topic and am now carrying out new studies.

Understanding reaction time

The goal of this project is to characterise the time course of the cognitive processes used when we carry out simple perceptual and decision-making tasks. For example, I would like to find out in which cases the different mental processes operate in strict sequence, with each finishing before the next begins, and in which cases they operate in parallel (at least partly at the same time). This issue is important on theoretical grounds (what are the temporal relationships among the mental processing carrying out distinct information processing aspects of a task?), methodological grounds (what does a reaction time measurement reflect?), and applied grounds (how can we maximise performance by capitalising on the brain’s capacity to perform multiple operations in parallel?). To find out, I manipulate various determinants of task difficulty and study both behaviour (response time and accuracy) and psychophysiological responses (EEG, EMG, response force).

Statistical methods

In all areas of my research, I look for ways to improve upon existing practices of data analysis. This has led to the development of some high specialised techniques for analysing reaction times, response choices, and EEG responses (often, with associated software), and to some general observations about the hypothesis testing scenario commonly used in psychology.

Further information on Professor Miller's research interests, publications, and statistical software

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Publications

Mittelstädt, V., Mackenzie, I. G., Leuthold, H., & Miller, J. (2021). Electrophysiological evidence against parallel motor processing during multitasking. Psychophysiology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/psyp.13951

Miller, J., & Ulrich, R. (2021). Optimizing research output: How can psychological research methods be improved? Annual Review of Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1146/annurev-psych-020821-094927

Miller, J., & Schwarz, W. (2021). Delta plots for conflict tasks: An activation-suppression race model. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. Advance online publication. doi: 10.3758/s13423-021-01900-5

Monno, I., Spitzer, M., Miller, J., Dignath, D., & Kiesel, A. (2021). Scaling of the parameters for cost balancing in self-organized task switching. Journal of Cognition, 4(1), 8. doi: 10.5334/joc.137

Mittelstaedt, V., Schaffernak, I., Miller, J., & Kiesel, A. (2021). Balancing cognitive and environmental constraints when deciding to switch tasks: Exploring self-reported task-selection strategies in self-organized multitasking. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 74(4), 598-609. doi: 10.1177/1747021820970079

Smulders, F. T. Y., & Miller, J. O. (2012). The lateralized readiness potential. In S. J. Luck & E. S. Kappenman (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of event-related potential components. (pp. 209-229). New York: Oxford University Press.

Chapter in Book - Research

Miller, J. (2021). Percentile rank pooling: A simple nonparametric method for comparing group reaction time distributions with few trials. Behavior Research Methods, 53, 781-791. doi: 10.3758/s13428-020-01466-5

Journal - Research Article

Miller, J., & Tang, J. L. (2021). Effects of task probability on prioritized processing: Modulating the efficiency of parallel response selection. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 83, 356-388. doi: 10.3758/s13414-020-02143-7

Journal - Research Article

Miller, J., & Ulrich, R. (2021). Optimizing research output: How can psychological research methods be improved? Annual Review of Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1146/annurev-psych-020821-094927

Journal - Research Article

Mittelstaedt, V., Schaffernak, I., Miller, J., & Kiesel, A. (2021). Balancing cognitive and environmental constraints when deciding to switch tasks: Exploring self-reported task-selection strategies in self-organized multitasking. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 74(4), 598-609. doi: 10.1177/1747021820970079

Journal - Research Article

Mittelstädt, V., Mackenzie, I. G., Leuthold, H., & Miller, J. (2021). Electrophysiological evidence against parallel motor processing during multitasking. Psychophysiology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/psyp.13951

Journal - Research Article

Monno, I., Spitzer, M., Miller, J., Dignath, D., & Kiesel, A. (2021). Scaling of the parameters for cost balancing in self-organized task switching. Journal of Cognition, 4(1), 8. doi: 10.5334/joc.137

Journal - Research Article

Bausenhart, K. M., Ulrich, R., & Miller, J. (2020). Effects of conflict trial proportion: A comparison of the Eriksen and Simon tasks. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics. Advance online publication. doi: 10.3758/s13414-020-02164-2

Journal - Research Article

Miller, J., & Kaup, B. (2020). Influences of task and attention on action verb congruence effects: How automatic are embodiment effects? Acta Psychologica, 210, 103155. doi: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2020.103155

Journal - Research Article

Miller, J., & Ulrich, R. (2020). A simple, general, and efficient method for sequential hypothesis testing: The independent segments procedure. Psychological Methods. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/met0000350

Journal - Research Article

Mittelstädt, V., & Miller, J. (2020). Beyond mean reaction times: Combining distributional analyses with processing stage manipulations in the Simon task. Cognitive Psychology, 119, 101275. doi: 10.1016/j.cogpsych.2020.101275

Journal - Research Article

Rieger, T., & Miller, J. (2020). Are model parameters linked to processing stages? An empirical investigation for the ex-Gaussian, ex-Wald, and EZ diffusion models. Psychological Research, 84, 1683-1699. doi: 10.1007/s00426-019-01176-4

Journal - Research Article

Rieger, T., & Miller, J. (2020). Disentangling stimulus and response compatibility as potential sources of backward crosstalk. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 82, 3415-3431. doi: 10.3758/s13414-020-02039-6

Journal - Research Article

Ulrich, R., & Miller, J. (2020). Questionable research practices may have little effect on replicability. eLIFE, 9, e58237. doi: 10.7554/eLife.58237

Journal - Research Article

Ulrich, R., Prislan, L., & Miller, J. (2020). A bimodal extension of the Eriksen flanker task. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics. Advance online publication. doi: 10.3758/s13414-020-02150-8

Journal - Research Article

Berndt, E., Dudschig, C., Miller, J., & Kaup, B. (2019). A replication attempt of hemispheric differences in semantic-relatedness judgments (Zwaan & Yaxley, 2003). Acta Psychologica, 198, 102871. doi: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2019.102871

Journal - Research Article

Miller, J., & Ulrich, R. (2019). The quest for an optimal alpha. PLoS ONE, 14(1), e0208631. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0208631

Journal - Research Article

Mittelstädt, V., Miller, J., & Kiesel, A. (2019). Linking task selection to task performance: Internal and predictable external processing constraints jointly influence voluntary task switching behavior. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 45(12), 1529-1548. doi: 10.1037/xhp0000690

Journal - Research Article

Ellinghaus, R., & Miller, J. (2018). Delta plots with negative-going slopes as a potential marker of decreasing response activation in masked semantic priming. Psychological Research, 82(3), 590-599. doi: 10.1007/s00426-017-0844-z

Journal - Research Article

Miller, J., & Schwarz, W. (2018). Implications of individual differences in on-average null effects. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 147(3), 377-397. doi: 10.1037/xge0000367

Journal - Research Article

Miller, J., Brookie, K., Wales, S., Wallace, S., & Kaup, B. (2018). Embodied cognition: Is activation of the motor cortex essential for understanding action verbs? Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition, 44(3), 335-370. doi: 10.1037/xlm0000451

Journal - Research Article

Mittelstädt, V., Miller, J., & Kiesel, A. (2018). Trading off switch costs and stimulus availability benefits: An investigation of voluntary task-switching behavior in a predictable dynamic multitasking environment. Memory & Cognition, 46(5), 699-715. doi: 10.3758/s13421-018-0802-z

Journal - Research Article

Mittelstäedt, V., & Miller, J. (2018). Redundancy gain in the Simon Task: Does increasing relevant activation reduce the effect of irrelevant activation? Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 44(8), 1153-1167. doi: 10.1037/xhp0000523

Journal - Research Article

Ulrich, R., & Miller, J. (2018). Some properties of p-curves, with an application to gradual publication bias. Psychological Methods, 23(3), 546-560. doi: 10.1037/met0000125

Journal - Research Article

Miller, J. (2017). Hypothesis testing in the real world. Educational & Psychological Measurement, 77(4), 663-672. doi: 10.1177/0013164416667984

Journal - Research Article

Miller, J. (2017). Psychophysiological measurement of backward response activation in the prioritized processing paradigm. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 43(5), 941-953. doi: 10.1037/xhp0000356

Journal - Research Article

Mittelstadt, V., & Miller, J. (2017). Separating limits on preparation versus online processing in multitasking paradigms: Evidence for resource models. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 43(1), 89-102. doi: 10.1037/xhp0000277

Journal - Research Article

Miller, J. (2016). S-R compatibility effects on motor potentials associated with hand and foot movements. Psychophysiology, 53(4), 493-506. doi: 10.1111/psyp.12574

Journal - Research Article

Miller, J. (2016). Statistical facilitation and the redundant signals effect: What are race and coactivation models? Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 78(2), 516-519. doi: 10.3758/s13414-015-1017-z

Journal - Research Article

Miller, J., & Roüast, N. M. (2016). Dissociations of spatial congruence effects across response measures: An examination of delta plots. Psychological Research, 80(5), 805-820. doi: 10.1007/s00426-015-0694-5

Journal - Research Article

Miller, J., & Ulrich, R. (2016). Interpreting confidence intervals: A comment on Hoekstra, Morey, Rouder, and Wagenmakers (2014). Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 23(1), 124-130. doi: 10.3758/s13423-015-0859-7

Journal - Research Article

Miller, J., & Ulrich, R. (2016). Optimizing research payoff. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 11(5), 664-691. doi: 10.1177/1745691616649170

Journal - Research Article

Schwarz, W., & Miller, J. (2016). GSDT: An integrative model of visual search. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 42(10), 1654-1675. doi: 10.1037/xhp0000247

Journal - Research Article

Shepherdson, P., & Miller, J. (2016). Non-semantic contributions to "semantic" redundancy gain. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 69(8), 1564-1582. doi: 10.1080/17470218.2015.1088555

Journal - Research Article

Miller, J., & Durst, M. (2015). A comparison of the psychological refractory period and prioritized processing paradigms: Can the response-selection bottleneck model explain them both? Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 41(5), 1420-1441. doi: 10.1037/xhp0000103

Journal - Research Article

Schröter, H., Birngruber, T., Bratzke, D., Miller, J., & Ulrich, R. (2015). Task predictability influences the variable foreperiod effect: Evidence of task-specific temporal preparation. Psychological Research, 79(2), 230-237. doi: 10.1007/s00426-014-0550-z

Journal - Research Article

Ko, Y.-T., & Miller, J. (2014). Locus of backward crosstalk effects on task 1 in a psychological refractory period task. Experimental Psychology, 61(1), 30-37. doi: 10.1027/1618-3169/a000224

Journal - Research Article

Miller, J., & Durst, M. (2014). “Just do it when you get a chance”: The effects of a background task on primary task performance. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 76(8), 2560-2574. doi: 10.3758/s13414-014-0730-3

Journal - Research Article

Miller, J., & Schwarz, W. (2014). Brain signals do not demonstrate unconscious decision making: An interpretation based on graded conscious awareness. Consciousness & Cognition, 24, 12-21. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2013.12.004

Journal - Research Article

Schwarz, W., & Miller, J. O. (2014). When less equals more: Probability summation without sensitivity improvement. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 40(5), 2091-2100. doi: 10.1037/a0037548

Journal - Research Article

Shepherdson, P., & Miller, J. (2014). Redundancy gain in semantic categorisation. Acta Psychologica, 148C, 96-106. doi: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2014.01.011

Journal - Research Article

Ko, Y.-T., & Miller, J. (2013). Signal-related contributions to stopping-interference effects in selective response inhibition. Experimental Brain Research, 228(2), 205-212. doi: 10.1007/s00221-013-3552-y

Journal - Research Article

Miller, J., & Gerstner, N. (2013). Cortical processing of simultaneous hand and foot movements: Evidence from event-related potentials. Psychophysiology, 50(10), 983-995. doi: 10.1111/psyp.12088

Journal - Research Article

Miller, J., & Ulrich, R. (2013). Mental chronometry and individual differences: Modeling reliabilities and correlations of reaction time means and effect sizes. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 20(5), 819-858. doi: 10.3758/s13423-013-0404-5

Journal - Research Article

Katzner, S., & Miller, J. (2012). Response-level probability effects on reaction time: Now you see them, now you don't. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 65(5), 865-886. doi: 10.1080/17470218.2011.629731

Journal - Research Article

Ko, Y.-T., Alsford, T., & Miller, J. (2012). Inhibitory effects on response force in the stop-signal paradigm. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 38(2), 465-477. doi: 10.1037/a0027034

Journal - Research Article

Miller, J. (2012). Selection and preparation of hand and foot movements: Cz activity as a marker of limb system preparation. Psychophysiology, 49(5), 590-603. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.2011.01338.x

Journal - Research Article

Miller, J., & Buchlak, Q. (2012). Cortical processing of unplanned movement sequences involving hands and feet: Evidence from event-related potentials. Psychophysiology, 49(7), 970-979. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.2012.01376.x

Journal - Research Article

Schwarz, W., & Miller, J. (2012). Response time models of delta plots with negative-going slopes. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 19(4), 555-574. doi: 10.3758/s13423-012-0254-6

Journal - Research Article

Fiedler, A., O'Sullivan, J. L., Schröter, H., Miller, J., & Ulrich, R. (2011). Illusory double flashes can speed up responses like physical ones: Evidence from the sound-induced flash illusion. Experimental Brain Research, 214(1), 113-119. doi: 10.1007/s00221-011-2811-z

Journal - Research Article

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