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Unconscious inhibition separates two forms of cognitive control

Boy, Frederic, Husain, Masud and Sumner, Petroc ORCID: 2010. Unconscious inhibition separates two forms of cognitive control. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107 (24) , pp. 11134-11139. 10.1073/pnas.1001925107

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In the human brain, cognitive-control processes are generally considered distinct from the unconscious mechanisms elicited by subliminal priming. Here, we show that cognitive control engaged in situations of response conflict interacts with the negative (inhibitory) phase of subliminal priming. Thus, cognitive control may surprisingly share common processes with nonconscious brain mechanisms. In contrast, our findings reveal that subliminal inhibition does not, however, interact with control adaptation—the supposed modulation of current control settings by previous experience of conflict. Therefore, although influential models have grouped immediate cognitive control and control adaptation together as products of the same conflict detection and control network, their relationship to subliminal inhibition separates them. Overall, these results suggest that the important distinction lies not between cognitive or top-down processes on the one hand and nonconscious priming mechanisms on the other hand but between responsive (poststimulus) mechanisms that deal with sensorimotor activation after it has occurred and preparatory (prestimulus) mechanisms that are modulated before stimulus arrival.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Uncontrolled Keywords: automatic; executive; negative compatibility; voluntary; flanker task
Publisher: National Academy of Sciences
ISSN: 0027-8424
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2022 13:03

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