"Smart inhibition": Electrophysiological evidence for the suppression of conflict-generating task rules during task switching

Nachshon Meiran, Shulan Hsieh, Chi Chih Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A major challenge for task switching is maintaining a balance between high task readiness and effectively ignoring irrelevant task rules. This calls for finely tuned inhibition that targets only the source of interference without adversely influencing other task-related representations. The authors show that irrelevant task rules generating response conflict are inhibited, causing their inefficient execution on the next trial (indicating the presence of competitor rule suppression[CRS];Meiran, Hsieh, & Dimov, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 36, 992-1002, 2010). To determine whether CRS influences task rules, rather than target stimuli or responses, the authors focused on the processing of the task cue before the target stimulus was presented and before the response could be chosen. As was predicted, CRS was found in the event-related potentials in two time windows during task cue processing. It was also found in three time windows after target presentation. Source localization analyses suggest the involvement of the right dorsal prefrontal cortex in all five time windows.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292-308
Number of pages17
JournalCognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience
Volume11
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Sep

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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