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Hypothesis and Theory ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02164

The Stroop effect occurs at multiple points along a cascade of control: Evidence from cognitive neuroscience approaches

  • 1University of Colorado Boulder, United States

This article argues that the Stroop effect can be generated at a variety of levels from stimulus input to response selection. As such, there are multiple loci at which the Stroop effects occurs. Evidence for this viewpoint is provided by a review of neuroimaging studies that were specifically designed to isolate levels of interference in the Stroop task and the underlying neural systems that work to control the effects of interference at those levels. In particular, the evidence suggests that lateral prefrontal regions work to bias processing toward task-relevant dimension of a Stroop stimulus (e.g., its color) and away from the task-irrelevant dimension (e.g., the meaning of the word). Medial prefrontal regions, in contrast tend to be more involved in response-related and late-stage aspects of control. Importantly, it is argued that this control occurs in a cascade-like manner, such that the degree to control that is exerted at earlier stages influence the degree of control that needs to be exerted at later stages. As such, the degree of behavioral interference that is observed is the culmination of processing in specific brain regions as well as their interaction.

Keywords: Stroop, fMRI, DLPFC (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex), Anterior cingulate (ACC), event-related potential (ERP )

Received: 16 May 2019; Accepted: 09 Sep 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Banich. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mx. Marie Banich, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, United States,