When in Doubt, Do it Both Ways: Brain Evidence of the Simultaneous Activation of Conflicting Motor Responses in a Spatial Stroop Task

M. Catherine DeSoto, Monica Fabiani, David C. Geary, Gabriele Gratton
2001 Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience  
& Response competition is often considered an important contributor to the delayed reaction to stimuli for which physical and semantic information are in conflict (" Stroop' ' effect). Response competition implies that brain areas associated with correct and incorrect responses (e.g., left and right motor cortices) should be simultaneously activated in conflict conditions. However, there is at present little direct evidence of this phenomenon, in part because of the paucity of brain imaging
more » ... niques that can independently monitor the time course of activation of adjacent brain areas, such as the motor areas. In the present study, we show that the event-related optical signal (EROS) can provide these types of data. The results confirm the prediction that conflict trials elicit simultaneous activation of both motor cortices, whereas nonconflict trials elicit brain activity only in the contralateral motor cortex. These data support a parallel view of the human information processing system. &
doi:10.1162/08989290152001934 pmid:11388924 fatcat:i7tk46o4inav5gti5ai3wd5jj4