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ERIC Number: EJ860074
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Aug
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0096-1523
Dissociating Consciousness from Inhibitory Control: Evidence for Unconsciously Triggered Response Inhibition in the Stop-Signal Task
van Gaal, Simon; Ridderinkhof, K. Richard; van den Wildenberg, Wery P. M.; Lamme, Victor A. F.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, v35 n4 p1129-1139 Aug 2009
Theories about the functional relevance of consciousness commonly posit that higher order cognitive control functions, such as response inhibition, require consciousness. To test this assertion, the authors designed a masked stop-signal paradigm to examine whether response inhibition could be triggered and initiated by masked stop signals, which inform participants to stop an action they have begun. In 2 experiments, masked stop signals were observed to occasionally result in full response inhibition as well as to yield a slow down in the speed of responses that were not inhibited. The magnitude of this subliminally triggered response time slowing effect correlated with the efficiency measure (stop signal reaction time) of response inhibition across participants. Thus, response inhibition can be triggered unconsciously--more so in individuals who are good inhibitors and under conditions that are associated with efficient response inhibition. These results indicate that in contradiction to common theorizing, inhibitory control processes can operate outside awareness. (Contains 1 table and 4 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A