Dispersion of Response Times Reveals Cognitive Dynamics

Trial-to-trial variation in word-pronunciation times exhibits 1/f scaling. One explanation is that human performances are consequent on multiplicative interactions among interdependent processes-interaction dominant dynamics. This article describes simulated distributions of pronunciation times in a further test for multiplicative interactions and interdependence. Individual participant distributions of ≈1,100 word-pronunciation times were successfully mimicked for each participant in combinations of lognormal and power-law behavior. Successful hazard function simulations generalized these results to establish interaction dominant dynamics, in contrast with component dominant dynamics, as a likely mechanism for cognitive activity.