Hysteresis in motor and language production

Amy L. Lebkuecher, Natalie Schwob, Misty Kabasa, Arella E. Gussow, Maryellen C. MacDonald, Daniel J. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Hysteresis in motor planning and syntactic priming in language planning refer to the influence of prior production history on current production behaviour. Computational efficiency accounts of action hysteresis and theoretical accounts of syntactic priming both argue that reusing an existing plan is less costly than generating a novel plan. Despite these similarities across motor and language frameworks, research on planning in these domains has largely been conducted independently. The current study adapted an existing language paradigm to mirror the incremental nature of a manual motor task to investigate the presence of parallel hysteresis effects across domains. We observed asymmetries in production choice for both the motor and language tasks that resulted from the influence of prior history. Furthermore, these hysteresis effects were more exaggerated for subordinate production forms implicating an inverse preference effect that spanned domain. Consistent with computational efficiency accounts, across both task participants exhibited reaction time savings on trials in which they reused a recent production choice. Together, these findings lend support to the broader notion that there are common production biases that span both motor and language domains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)511-527
Number of pages17
JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • General Psychology
  • Physiology (medical)


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