Should I stop or should I go? The role of associations and expectancies
McLaren, Ian P.L.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Copyright © APA
Following exposure to consistent stimulus-stop mappings, response inhibition can become automatized with practice. What is learned is less clear, even though this has important theoretical and practical implications. A recent analysis indicates that stimuli can become associated with a stop signal or with a stop ‘goal’. Furthermore, expectancy may play an important role. Previous studies that have used stop or no-go signals to manipulate stimulus-stop learning cannot distinguish between stimulus-signal and stimulus-goal associations, and expectancy has not been measured properly. In the present study, participants performed a task that combined features of the go/no-go task and the stop- signal task in which the stop-signal rule changed at the beginning of each block. The go and stop signals were superimposed over forty task-irrelevant images. Our results show that participants can learn direct associations between images and the stop goal without mediation via the stop signal. Exposure to the image-stop associations influenced task performance during training, and the expectancies measured following task completion or measured within the task. But, despite this, we found an effect of stimulus-stop associations on test performance only when the task increased the task-relevance of the images. This could indicate that the influence of stimulus-stop learning on go performance is strongly influenced by attention to both task-relevant and task-irrelevant stimulus features. More generally, our findings suggest a strong interplay between ‘automatic’ and ‘controlled’ processes.
Economic and Social Research Council
European Research Council
Datasets available in ORE at http://hdl.handle.net/10871/17735
This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.
Vol. 42, Iss. 1, pp. 115–137