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Attention modulation by proportion congruency: the asymmetrical list shifting effect

Elger Abrahamse (UGent) , Wout Duthoo (UGent) , Wim Notebaert (UGent) and Evan Risko
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Abstract
Proportion congruency effects represent hallmark phenomena in current theorizing about cognitive control. This is based on the notion that proportion congruency determines the relative levels of attention to relevant and irrelevant information in conflict tasks. However, little empirical evidence exists that uniquely supports such an attention modulation account; moreover, a rivaling account was recently proposed that attributes the effect of proportion congruency to mere contingency learning. In the present study, the influences of shifts in list-wide (Experiment 1) or item-specific (Experiment 2) proportion congruency were investigated. As predicted by attention modulation but not by contingency learning; strong asymmetries were observed in such shifting: An increase in the proportion of congruent trials had only limited impact on the size of the congruency effect when participants were initially trained with a mostly incongruent list, but the impact was substantial for an equivalent increase of incongruent trials when participants were initially trained with a mostly congruent list. This asymmetrical list shifting effect directly supports attention modulation by proportion congruency manipulations and as such provides a novel tool for exploring cognitive control. Implications of our findings for existing theories of cognitive control are discussed.
Keywords
STROOP PROCESS DISSOCIATIONS, ITEM-SPECIFIC CONTROL, COGNITIVE CONTROL, TASK, CONTINGENCY, INTERFERENCE, ADAPTATION, PERFORMANCE, FREQUENCY, ACTIVATION, attention, cognitive control, proportion congruency, contingency learning

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Chicago
Abrahamse, Elger, Wout Duthoo, Wim Notebaert, and Evan Risko. 2013. “Attention Modulation by Proportion Congruency: The Asymmetrical List Shifting Effect.” Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 39 (5): 1552–1562.
APA
Abrahamse, E., Duthoo, W., Notebaert, W., & Risko, E. (2013). Attention modulation by proportion congruency: the asymmetrical list shifting effect. JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY: LEARNING, MEMORY, AND COGNITION, 39(5), 1552–1562.
Vancouver
1.
Abrahamse E, Duthoo W, Notebaert W, Risko E. Attention modulation by proportion congruency: the asymmetrical list shifting effect. JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY: LEARNING, MEMORY, AND COGNITION. 2013;39(5):1552–62.
MLA
Abrahamse, Elger, Wout Duthoo, Wim Notebaert, et al. “Attention Modulation by Proportion Congruency: The Asymmetrical List Shifting Effect.” JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY: LEARNING, MEMORY, AND COGNITION 39.5 (2013): 1552–1562. Print.
@article{4092739,
  abstract     = {Proportion congruency effects represent hallmark phenomena in current theorizing about cognitive control. This is based on the notion that proportion congruency determines the relative levels of attention to relevant and irrelevant information in conflict tasks. However, little empirical evidence exists that uniquely supports such an attention modulation account; moreover, a rivaling account was recently proposed that attributes the effect of proportion congruency to mere contingency learning. In the present study, the influences of shifts in list-wide (Experiment 1) or item-specific (Experiment 2) proportion congruency were investigated. As predicted by attention modulation but not by contingency learning; strong asymmetries were observed in such shifting: An increase in the proportion of congruent trials had only limited impact on the size of the congruency effect when participants were initially trained with a mostly incongruent list, but the impact was substantial for an equivalent increase of incongruent trials when participants were initially trained with a mostly congruent list. This asymmetrical list shifting effect directly supports attention modulation by proportion congruency manipulations and as such provides a novel tool for exploring cognitive control. Implications of our findings for existing theories of cognitive control are discussed.},
  author       = {Abrahamse, Elger and Duthoo, Wout and Notebaert, Wim and Risko, Evan},
  issn         = {0278-7393},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY: LEARNING, MEMORY, AND COGNITION},
  keywords     = {STROOP PROCESS DISSOCIATIONS,ITEM-SPECIFIC CONTROL,COGNITIVE CONTROL,TASK,CONTINGENCY,INTERFERENCE,ADAPTATION,PERFORMANCE,FREQUENCY,ACTIVATION,attention,cognitive control,proportion congruency,contingency learning},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {1552--1562},
  title        = {Attention modulation by proportion congruency: the asymmetrical list shifting effect},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0032426},
  volume       = {39},
  year         = {2013},
}

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