How to withhold or replace a prepotent response: An analysis of the underlying control processes and their temporal dynamics
Reason for embargo
The present study isolated and compared ERP components associated with flexible behavior in two action-control tasks. The ‘withhold’ groups had to withhold all responses when a signal appeared. The ‘change’ groups had to replace a prepotent go response with a different response on signal trials. We proposed that the same chain of processes determined the effectiveness of action control in both tasks. Consistent with this idea, lateral (Experiment 1) and central (Experiment 2) signal presentation elicited the same perceptual and response-related components in both tasks with similar latencies. Thus, completely withholding a response and replacing a response required a similar chain of processes. Furthermore, latency analyses revealed intraindividual differences: When the signal occurred in the periphery, differences between fast and slow change trials arose at early perceptual stages; by contrast, differences arose at later processing stages when signal detection was easy but stimulus discrimination and response selection were harder.
This work was supported by a starting grant to FV from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013)/ ERC Grant Agreement No. 312445. FV is also FV is a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award holder.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version to be available from the publisher via the DOI in this record.