Schmidt, Liefooghe and De Houwer’s (2020) PEP model is able to explain many empirical effects commonly reported in task switching experiments without invoking an executive control homunculus. However, their claim that they have erased the homunculus from memory may be a little premature. Although they have gone a long way in dissolving, deconstructing and fractionating the executive, there remain several empirical effects that are difficult to explain under PEP, some of which they openly discuss. In the present commentary, I have described some findings from my own research on spatial attention in task switching using eye-tracking that I think PEP would also struggle to model, but which can easily be explained by active control processes. I conclude that PEP still has some way to go before the homunculus can be altogether erased from memory.
- cognitive control
- eye movements