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Comparing conscious and unconscious conflict adaptation

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Recently, researchers have been trying to unravel the function of consciousness by exploring whether unconscious information is (in)capable of exerting cognitive control. Theoretically, cognitive control functions, such as conflict adaptation, have often been assumed to require consciousness. However, empirical evidence on conscious versus unconscious conflict adaptation is highly contradictory and hitherto, only one study reliably demonstrated adaptation to unconscious conflict. Therefore, the current study wanted to shed further light on this debated issue. A masked and unmasked version of the priming paradigm were used to create unconscious and conscious conflict trials (i.e., when prime and target trigger opposite responses). In contrast to previous studies, the Stimulus Onset Asynchrony was kept constant in both conditions and neutral trials were added to the design in order to investigate the origin of the adaptation and to investigate the specific adaptation effects. Our results showed robust conflict adaptation effects following conscious and unconscious conflict. Furthermore, our results suggest that the adaptation elicited by the conflict, is mainly an adaptation of interference, not of facilitation. We can conclude that conflict adaptation can occur after unconscious conflict, which indicates that this expression of cognitive control is most likely not an exclusive function of consciousness.
Tijdschrift: PLOS ONE
ISSN: 1932-6203
Issue: 2
Volume: 8
Jaar van publicatie:2013
Trefwoorden:consciousness, conflict adaptation, unconscious cognitive control
  • Scopus Id: 84873560159