Advertisement

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

  • Christina U. PfeufferEmail author
  • Karolina Moutsopoulou
  • Florian Waszak
  • Andrea Kiesel
Original Article

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.

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by a grant of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft [KI1388/5-1, Andrea Kiesel] and a Grant of the Agence Nationale de la Recherche [SRA ANR-13-FRAL-0007-01, Karolina Moutsopoulou].

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical standards

All studies have been approved by the appropriate ethics committee and have, therefore been performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments. All participants gave their informed consent prior to their inclusion in the study. The manuscript does not contain clinical studies or patient data.

References

  1. Aben, B., Verguts, T., & Van den Bussche, E. (2017). Beyond trial-by-trial adaptation: A quantification of the time scale of cognitive control. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 43, 509–517.Google Scholar
  2. Andreadis, N., & Quinlan, P. T. (2010). Task switching under predictable and unpredictable circumstances. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 72, 1776–1790.Google Scholar
  3. Arrington, C. M., & Reiman, K. M. (2015). Task frequency influences stimulus-driven effects on task selection during voluntary task switching. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 22, 1089–1095.Google Scholar
  4. Atalay, N. B., & Misirlisoy, M. (2012). Can contingency learning alone account for item-specific control? Evidence from within-and between-language ISPC effects. Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 38, 1578–1590.Google Scholar
  5. Blais, C., & Bunge, S. (2010). Behavioral and neural evidence for item- specific performance monitoring. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 22, 2758–2767.Google Scholar
  6. Botvinick, M. M. (2007). Conflict monitoring and decision making: Reconciling two perspectives on anterior cingulate function. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 7, 356–366.Google Scholar
  7. Botvinick, M. M., Braver, T. S., Barch, D. M., Carter, C. S., & Cohen, J. D. (2001). Conflict monitoring and cognitive control. Psychological Review, 108, 624–652.Google Scholar
  8. Botvinick, M. M., Cohen, J. D., & Carter, C. S. (2004). Conflict monitoring and anterior cingulate cortex: An update. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 8, 539–546.Google Scholar
  9. Brady, T. F., Konkle, T., Alvarez, G. A., & Oliva, A. (2008). Visual long-term memory has a massive storage capacity for object details. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105, 14325–14329.Google Scholar
  10. Bugg, J. M., & Chanani, S. (2011). List-wide control is not entirely elusive: Evidence from picture-word Stroop. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 18, 930–936.Google Scholar
  11. Bugg, J. M., & Crump, M. J. (2012). In support of a distinction between voluntary and stimulus-driven control: A review of the literature on proportion congruent effects. Frontiers in Psychology, 3, 367.Google Scholar
  12. Bugg, J. M., & Hutchison, K. A. (2013). Converging evidence for control of color-word Stroop interference at the item level. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 39, 433–449.Google Scholar
  13. Bugg, J. M., Jacoby, L. L., & Toth, J. P. (2008). Multiple levels of control in the Stroop task. Memory & Cognition, 36, 1484–1494.Google Scholar
  14. Bugg, J. M., McDaniel, M. A., Scullin, M. K., & Braver, T. S. (2011). Revealing list-level control in the Stroop task by uncovering its benefits and a cost. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 37, 1595–1606.Google Scholar
  15. Chiu, Y. C., & Egner, T. (2017). Cueing cognitive flexibility: Item-specific learning of switch readiness. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 43, 1950–1960.Google Scholar
  16. Cohen-Kdoshay, O., & Meiran, N. (2007). The representation of instructions in working memory leads to autonomous response activation: Evidence from the first trials in the flanker paradigm. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 60, 1140–1154.Google Scholar
  17. Cohen-Kdoshay, O., & Meiran, N. (2009). The representation of instructions operates like a prepared reflex: Flanker compatibility effects found in first trial following S–R instructions. Experimental Psychology, 56, 128–133.Google Scholar
  18. Crump, M. J. C., Gong, Z., & Milliken, B. (2006). The context-specific proportion congruent Stroop effect: Location as a contextual cue. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 13, 316–321.Google Scholar
  19. Crump, M. J., & Logan, G. D. (2010). Contextual control over task-set retrieval. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 72, 2047–2053.Google Scholar
  20. Crump, M. J. C., & Milliken, B. (2009). The flexibility of context-specific control: Evidence for context-driven generalization of item-specific control settings. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 62, 1523–1532.Google Scholar
  21. Dobbins, I. G., Schnyer, D. M., Verfaellie, M., & Schacter, D. L. (2004). Cortical activity reductions during repetition priming can result from rapid response learning. Nature, 428, 316–319.Google Scholar
  22. Druey, M., & Hübner, R. (2008a). Effects of stimulus features and instruction on response coding, selection, and inhibition: Evidence from repetition effects under task switching. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 61, 1573–1600.Google Scholar
  23. Druey, M., & Hübner, R. (2008b). Response inhibition under task switching: Its strength depends on the amount of task-irrelevant response activation. Psychological Research, 72, 515–527.Google Scholar
  24. Duthoo, W., De Baene, W., Wühr, P., & Notebaert, W. (2012). When predictions take control: The effect of task predictions on task switching performance. Frontiers in Psychology, 3, 282.Google Scholar
  25. Eriksen, B. A., & Eriksen, C. W. (1974). Effects of noise letters upon the identification of a target letter in a nonsearch task. Perception and Psychophysics, 16, 143–149.Google Scholar
  26. Faul, F., Erdfelder, E., Lang, A. G., & Buchner, A. (2007). G* Power 3: A flexible statistical power analysis program for the social, behavioral, and biomedical sciences. Behavior Research Methods, 39, 175–191.Google Scholar
  27. Grzyb, K. R., & Hübner, R. (2013). Strategic modulation of response inhibition in task-switching. Frontiers in Psychology, 4, 545.Google Scholar
  28. Hazeltine, E., & Mordkoff, J. T. (2014). Resolved but not forgotten: Stroop conflict dredges up the past. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 1327.Google Scholar
  29. Henson, R. N., Eckstein, D., Waszak, F., Frings, C., & Horner, A. J. (2014). Stimulus–response bindings in priming. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 18, 376–384.Google Scholar
  30. Hommel, B. (1998). Event files: Evidence for automatic integration of stimulus-response episodes. Visual Cognition, 5, 183–216.Google Scholar
  31. Hommel, B. (2004). Event files: Feature binding in and across perception and action. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 8, 494–500.Google Scholar
  32. Hommel, B., Memelink, J., Zmigrod, S., & Colzato, L. S. (2014). Attentional control of the creation and retrieval of stimulus–response bindings. Psychological Research, 78, 520–538.Google Scholar
  33. Horner, A. J., & Henson, R. N. (2009). Bindings between stimuli and multiple response codes dominate long-lag repetition priming in speeded classification tasks. Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 35, 757–779.Google Scholar
  34. Horner, A. J., & Henson, R. N. (2011). Stimulus–response bindings code both abstract and specific representations of stimuli: Evidence from a classification priming design that reverses multiple levels of response representation. Memory & Cognition, 39, 1457–1471.Google Scholar
  35. Horner, A. J., & Henson, R. N. (2012). Incongruent abstract stimulus–response bindings result in response interference: fMRI and EEG evidence from visual object classification priming. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 24, 760–773.Google Scholar
  36. Hsu, Y. F., & Waszak, F. (2012). Stimulus-classification traces are dominant in response learning. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 86, 262–268.Google Scholar
  37. Hübner, R., & Druey, M. D. (2006). Response execution, selection, or activation: What is sufficient for response-related repetition effects under task shifting? Psychological Research, 70, 245–261.Google Scholar
  38. Hübner, R., & Druey, M. (2008). Multiple response codes play specific roles in response selection and inhibition under task switching. Psychological Research, 72, 415–424.Google Scholar
  39. Hutchison, K. A. (2011). The interactive effects of listwide control, item-based control, and working memory capacity on Stroop performance. Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 37, 851–860.Google Scholar
  40. Jacoby, L. L., Lindsay, D. S., & Hessels, S. (2003). Item-specific control of automatic processes: Stroop process dissociations. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 10, 634–644.Google Scholar
  41. Jarosz, A. F., & Wiley, J. (2014). What are the odds? A practical guide to computing and reporting Bayes factors. The Journal of Problem Solving, 7, 2.Google Scholar
  42. Kerns, J. G., Cohen, J. D., MacDonald, A. W., Cho, R. Y., Stenger, V. A., & Carter, C. S. (2004). Anterior cingulate conflict monitoring and adjustments in control. Science, 303, 1023–1026.Google Scholar
  43. Kiesel, A., Steinhauser, M., Wendt, M., Falkenstein, M., Jost, K., Philipp, A. M., & Koch, I. (2010). Control and interference in task switching—A review. Psychological Bulletin, 136, 849–874.Google Scholar
  44. King, J. A., Korb, F. M., & Egner, T. (2012). Priming of control: Implicit contextual cuing of top-down attentional set. The Journal of Neuroscience, 32, 8192–8200.Google Scholar
  45. Kliegl, R., Grabner, E., Rolfs, M., & Engbert, R. (2004). Length, frequency, and predictability effects of words on eye movements in reading. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 16, 262–284.Google Scholar
  46. Koch, I. (2005). Sequential task predictability in task switching. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 12, 107–112.Google Scholar
  47. Koch, I. (2008). Instruction effects in task switching. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 15, 448–452.Google Scholar
  48. Koch, I., Poljac, E., Müller, H., & Kiesel, A. (2018). Cognitive structure, flexibility, and plasticity in human multitasking—An integrative review of dual-task and task-switching research. Psychological Bulletin, 144, 557–583.Google Scholar
  49. Koch, I., Schuch, S., Vu, K. P. L., & Proctor, R. W. (2011). Response-repetition effects in task switching—Dissociating effects of anatomical and spatial response discriminability. Acta Psychologica, 136, 399–404.Google Scholar
  50. Le Pelley, M. E. (2004). The role of associative history in models of associative learning: A selective review and a hybrid model. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology Section B, 57(3b), 193–243.Google Scholar
  51. Leboe, J. P., Wong, J., Crump, M., & Stobbe, K. (2008). Probe-specific proportion task repetition effects on switching costs. Perception and Psychophysics, 70, 935–945.Google Scholar
  52. Liefooghe, B., & De Houwer, J. (2018). Automatic effects of instructions do not require the intention to execute these instructions. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 30, 108–121.Google Scholar
  53. Liefooghe, B., Wenke, D., & De Houwer, J. (2012). Instruction-based task-rule congruency effects. Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 38, 1325–1335.Google Scholar
  54. Lindsay, D. S., & Jacoby, L. L. (1994). Stroop process dissociations: The relationship between facilitation and interference. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 20, 219–234.Google Scholar
  55. Logan, G. D. (1988). Toward an instance theory of automatization. Psychological Review, 95, 492–527.Google Scholar
  56. Logan, G. D. (1990). Repetition priming and automaticity: Common underlying mechanisms? Cognitive Psychology, 22, 1–35.Google Scholar
  57. Logan, G. D., & Zbrodoff, N. J. (1979). When it helps to be misled: Facilitative effects of increasing the frequency of conflicting stimuli in a Stroop-like task. Memory & Cognition, 7(3), 166–174.Google Scholar
  58. Love, J., Selker, R., Verhagen, J., Marsman, M., Gronau, Q. F., Jamil, T., Smira, M., Epskamp, S., Wild, A., Morey, R., Rouder, J. & Wagenmakers, E.J. (2015). JASP [Computer software].Google Scholar
  59. Lowe, D. G., & Mitterer, J. O. (1982). Selective and divided attentions in a Stroop task. Canadian Journal of Psychology, 36, 684–700.Google Scholar
  60. Meiran, N., Cole, M. W., & Braver, T. S. (2012). When planning results in loss of control: Intention-based reflexivity and working-memory. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 6, 1–10.Google Scholar
  61. Meiran, M., Liefooghe, B., & De Houwer, J. (2017). Powerful instructions: Automaticity without practice. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 26, 509–514.Google Scholar
  62. Meiran, N., Pereg, M., Kessler, Y., Cole, M. W., & Braver, T. S. (2015a). The power of instructions: Proactive configuration of stimulus–response translation. Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 41, 768–786.Google Scholar
  63. Meiran, N., Pereg, M., Kessler, Y., Cole, M. W., & Braver, T. S. (2015b). Reflexive activation of newly instructed stimulus–response rules: Evidence from lateralized readiness potentials in no-go trials. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 15, 365–373.Google Scholar
  64. Memelink, J., & Hommel, B. (2013). Intentional weighting: A basic principle in cognitive control. Psychological Research, 77, 249–259.Google Scholar
  65. Monsell, S. (2003). Task switching. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 7, 134–140.Google Scholar
  66. Moutsopoulou, K., & Waszak, F. (2012). Across-task priming revisited: Response and task conflicts disentangled using ex-Gaussian distribution analysis. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 38, 367–374.Google Scholar
  67. Moutsopoulou, K., & Waszak, F. (2013). Durability of classification and action learning: differences revealed using ex-Gaussian distribution analysis. Experimental Brain Research, 226, 373–382.Google Scholar
  68. Moutsopoulou, K., Yang, Q., Desantis, A., & Waszak, F. (2015). Stimulus-classification and stimulus-action associations: Effects of repetition learning and resilience. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 68, 1744–1757.Google Scholar
  69. Nessler, D., Friedman, D., & Johnson, R., Jr. (2012). A new account of the effect of probability on task switching: ERP evidence following the manipulation of switch probability, cue informativeness and predictability. Biological Psychology, 91, 245–262.Google Scholar
  70. Notebaert, W., & Verguts, T. (2007). Dissociating conflict adaptation from feature integration: A multiple regression approach. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 33, 1256–1260.Google Scholar
  71. Pavlov, I. P. (1927). Conditional reflexes: an investigation of the physiological activity of the cerebral cortex. London: Wexford University Press.Google Scholar
  72. Pfeuffer, C. U., Hosp, T., Kimmig, E., Moutsopoulou, K., Waszak, F., & Kiesel, A. (2018a). Defining stimulus representation in stimulus–response associations formed on the basis of task execution and verbal codes. Psychological Research, 82, 744–758.Google Scholar
  73. Pfeuffer, C. U., Moutsopoulou, K., Pfister, R., Waszak, F., & Kiesel, A. (2017). The power of words: On item-specific stimulus–response associations formed in the absence of action. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 43, 328–347.Google Scholar
  74. Pfeuffer, C. U., Moutsopoulou, K., Waszak, F., & Kiesel, A. (2018b). Multiple priming instances increase the impact of practice-based but not verbal code-based stimulus-response associations. Acta Psychologica, 184, 100–109.Google Scholar
  75. Rescorla, R. A., & Wagner, A. R. (1972). A theory of Pavlovian conditioning: Variations in the effectiveness of reinforcement and nonreinforcement. In A. H. Black & W. F. Prokasy (Eds.), Classical conditioning II: Current research and theory (pp. 64–99). New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.Google Scholar
  76. Rogers, R. D., & Monsell, S. (1995). Costs of a predictable switch between simple cognitive tasks. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 124, 207–231.Google Scholar
  77. Rouder, J. N., Morey, R. D., Verhagen, J., Swagman, A. R., & Wagenmakers, E. J. (2017). Bayesian analysis of factorial designs. Psychological Methods, 22, 304–321.Google Scholar
  78. Rouder, J. N., Speckman, P. L., Sun, D., Morey, R. D., & Iverson, G. (2009). Bayesian t tests for accepting and rejecting the null hypothesis. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 16, 225–237.Google Scholar
  79. Schmidt, J. R. (2013a). Temporal learning and list-level proportion congruency: Conflict adaptation or learning when to respond? PLoS ONE, 8, e0082320.Google Scholar
  80. Schmidt, J. R. (2013b). The parallel episodic processing (PEP) model: Dissociating contingency and conflict adaptation in the item-specific proportion congruent paradigm. Acta Psychologica, 142, 119–126.Google Scholar
  81. Schmidt, J. R. (2014a). Contingencies and attentional capture: The importance of matching stimulus informativeness in the item-specific proportion congruent task. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 540.Google Scholar
  82. Schmidt, J. R. (2014b). List-level transfer effects in temporal learning: Further complications for the list-level proportion congruent effect. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 26, 373–385.Google Scholar
  83. Schmidt, J. R., & Besner, D. (2008). The Stroop effect: Why proportion congruent has nothing to do with congruency and everything to do with contingency. Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 34, 514–523.Google Scholar
  84. Schmidt, J. R., Lemercier, C., & De Houwer, J. (2014). Context-specific temporal learning with non-conflict stimuli: Proof-of-principle for a learning account of context-specific proportion congruent effects. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 1241.Google Scholar
  85. Schuch, S., & Koch, I. (2004). The costs of changing the representation of action: Response repetition and response-response compatibility in dual tasks. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 30, 566–582.Google Scholar
  86. Simon, J. R. (1990). The effects of an irrelevant directional cue on human information processing. Advances in Psychology, 65, 31–86.Google Scholar
  87. Steinhauser, M., Hübner, R., & Druey, M. (2009). Adaptive control of response preparedness in task switching. Neuropsychologia, 47, 1826–1835.Google Scholar
  88. Verguts, T., & Notebaert, W. (2008). Hebbian learning of cognitive control: Dealing with specific and nonspecific adaptation. Psychological Review, 115, 518–525.Google Scholar
  89. Waszak, F. (2010). Across-task long-term priming: Interaction of task readiness and automatic retrieval. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 63, 1414–1429.Google Scholar
  90. Waszak, F., Hommel, B., & Allport, A. (2003). Task-switching and long-term priming: Role of episodic stimulus–task bindings in task-shift costs. Cognitive Psychology, 46, 361–413.Google Scholar
  91. Wendt, M., & Luna-Rodriguez, A. (2009). Conflict-frequency affects flanker interference: Role of stimulus-ensemble-specific practice and flanker-response contingencies. Experimental Psychology, 56, 206–217.Google Scholar
  92. Wendt, M., Luna-Rodriguez, A., Kiesel, A., & Jacobsen, T. (2013). Conflict adjustment devoid of perceptual selection. Acta Psychologica, 144, 31–39.Google Scholar
  93. Whitehead, P. S., & Egner, T. (2018). Cognitive control over prospective task-set interference. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 44, 741–755.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cognition, Action, and Sustainability Unit, Department of PsychologyAlbert-Ludwigs-University of FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  2. 2.Université Paris DescartesSorbonne Paris CitéParisFrance
  3. 3.Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception, UMR 8242ParisFrance

Personalised recommendations