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13-07-2019 | Original Article

Execution-based and verbal code-based stimulus–response associations: proportion manipulations reveal conflict adaptation processes in item-specific priming

Tijdschrift:
Psychological Research
Auteurs:
Christina U. Pfeuffer, Karolina Moutsopoulou, Florian Waszak, Andrea Kiesel
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Abstract

Stimulus–response (S–R) associations consist of two independent components: Stimulus–classification (S–C) and stimulus–action (S–A) associations. Here, we examined whether these S–C and S–A associations were modulated by cognitive control operations. In two item-specific priming experiments, we systematically manipulated the proportion of trials in which item-specific S–C and/or S–A mappings repeated or switched between the single encoding (prime) and single retrieval (probe) instance of each stimulus (i.e., each stimulus appeared only twice). Thus, we assessed the influence of a list-level proportion switch manipulation on the strength of item-specific S–C and S–A associations. Participants responded slower and committed more errors when item-specific S–C or S–A mappings switched rather than repeated between prime and probe (i.e., S–C/S–A switch effects). S–C switch effects were larger when S–C repetitions rather than switches were frequent on the list-level. Similarly, S–A switch effects were modulated by S–A switch proportion. Most importantly, our findings rule out contingency learning and temporal learning as explanations of the observed results and point towards a conflict adaptation mechanism that selectively adapts the encoding and/or retrieval for each S–R component. Finally, we outline how cognitive control over S–R associations operates in the context of item-specific priming.

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