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Sebastian Pannasch, Caroline Gottschalk, Jens Helmert, Rico Fischer; Context-sensitive adjustments of cognitive control: Further insights from eye movement behavior. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):1265. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/15.12.1265.
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Recent research showed that cognitive control (i.e., the ability to respond to task-relevant while ignoring task-irrelevant features) can be recruited and regulated in a context-sensitive manner. Accordingly, a spatial location can serve as context cue if, for instance, trials with a high probability of response conflicts are presented. This would signal an increased demand of cognitive control engagement as compared to a spatial location with a low probability of response conflicts. As a consequence, interference effects are typically reduced in high conflict compared to low conflict contexts. In the present study we aimed at investigating the underlying cognitive mechanisms that enable such context-sensitive adjustments of cognitive control. We specifically measured eye movements to determine the allocation of attention to high versus low conflict contexts and to get insights into conflict resolution at the respective location. We used a Face-Stroop task, in which simultaneous displays of a face and a name were presented at predefined locations on the screen. The combinations could appear either to the left or right of central fixation. The factor conflict context was manipulated by the frequency of incongruent trials, with high conflict context induced by 80% incongruent trials and low conflict context by 20% incongruent trials. Participants indicated the gender of the names while ignoring the gender of the face. On the behavioral level, we found reduced Stroop effects for locations with a high conflict frequency compared to locations with a low conflict frequency, indicating that more cognitive control was invested. With regard to the eye movement behavior, we will present findings from saccade latency, saccadic landing position and pupil size.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015
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