Patria F, Committeri G, Coriale G, Daini R, Pitzalis S, Sanes J, 1999, "Digit-Stroop and cognitive interference: a psychophysical study preliminary to fMRI" Perception 28 ECVP Abstract Supplement
Digit-Stroop and cognitive interference: a psychophysical study preliminary to fMRI
F Patria, G Committeri, G Coriale, R Daini, S Pitzalis, J Sanes
Selective attention is required in tasks that involve the inhibition of competing responses. When the processing of one stimulus attribute impedes the processing of a simultaneous second stimulus attribute, then cognitive interference occurs. The colour-Stroop task is the prototypical interference task used for studying the basic mechanisms of attention and cognition in both normal subjects and patients with neuropsychological impairments (Stroop, 1935 Journal of Experimental Psychology 18 643 - 662). In order to determine, with fMRI, the underlying neural substrate of cognitive interference, a Stroop-variant task (digit-Stroop) that obviates problems produced by speaking was tested. Two experiments were run. For both of them, subjects were required to judge the larger (on the relevant dimension) of two simultaneously displayed digits. In one session, the relevant dimension was numerical size, and in the other session, it was the physical size. Three types of stimuli were used: congruent, incongruent, and neutral. Error rates and RT data were analysed. In the first experiment, physical size and numerical distance were manipulated with the purpose of selecting the stimulus features that produced the strongest interference effect. A selection of conditions was tested in a second behavioural experiment and will be studied with fMRI.
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