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    Stroop proactive control and task conflict are modulated by concurrent working memory load

    Kalanthroff, E. and Avnit, A. and Henik, A. and Davelaar, Eddy J. and Usher, Marius (2015) Stroop proactive control and task conflict are modulated by concurrent working memory load. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 22 (3), pp. 869-875. ISSN 1069-9384.

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    Abstract

    Performance on the Stroop task reflects two types of conflict—informational (between the incongruent word and font color) and task (between the contextually relevant color-naming task and the irrelevant, but automatic, word-reading task). According to the dual mechanisms of control theory (DMC; Braver, 2012), variability in Stroop performance can result from variability in the deployment of a proactive task-demand control mechanism. Previous research has shown that when proactive control (PC) is diminished, both increased Stroop interference and a reversed Stroop facilitation (RF) are observed. Although the current DMC model accounts for the former effect, it does not predict the observed RF, which is considered to be behavioral evidence for task conflict in the Stroop task. Here we expanded the DMC model to account for Stroop RF. Assuming that a concurrent working memory (WM) task reduces PC, we predicted both increased interference and an RF. Nineteen participants performed a standard Stroop task combined with a concurrent n-back task, which was aimed at reducing available WM resources, and thus overloading PC. Although the results indicated common Stroop interference and facilitation in the low-load condition (zero-back), in the high-load condition (two-back), both increased Stroop interference and RF were observed, consistent with the model’s prediction. These findings indicate that PC is modulated by concurrent WM load and serves as a common control mechanism for both informational and task Stroop conflicts.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Stroop, Working memory, Executive control, Task conflict, Dual mechanism of control
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2016 10:23
    Last Modified: 05 Jul 2016 10:23
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/15695

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