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Selective reinforcement of conflict processing in the Stroop task

Arthur Prével (UGent) , Ruth Krebs (UGent) , Nanne Kukkonen (UGent) and Senne Braem (UGent)
(2021) PLOS ONE. 16(7).
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Abstract
Motivation signals have been shown to influence the engagement of cognitive control processes. However, most studies focus on the invigorating effect of reward prospect, rather than the reinforcing effect of reward feedback. The present study aimed to test whether people strategically adapt conflict processing when confronted with condition-specific congruency-reward contingencies in a manual Stroop task. Results show that the size of the Stroop effect can be affected by selectively rewarding responses following incongruent versus congruent trials. However, our findings also suggest important boundary conditions. Our first two experiments only show a modulation of the Stroop effect in the first half of the experimental blocks, possibly due to our adaptive threshold procedure demotivating adaptive behavior over time. The third experiment showed an overall modulation of the Stroop effect, but did not find evidence for a similar modulation on test items, leaving open whether this effect generalizes to the congruency conditions, or is stimulus-specific. More generally, our results are consistent with computational models of cognitive control and support contemporary learning perspectives on cognitive control. The findings also offer new guidelines and directions for future investigations on the selective reinforcement of cognitive control processes.
Keywords
Multidisciplinary, COGNITIVE CONTROL, REWARD, CONTINGENCY, BEHAVIOR, PERFORMANCE, INHIBITION, ACTIVATION, ATTENTION

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Citation

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MLA
Prével, Arthur, et al. “Selective Reinforcement of Conflict Processing in the Stroop Task.” PLOS ONE, vol. 16, no. 7, 2021, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0255430.
APA
Prével, A., Krebs, R., Kukkonen, N., & Braem, S. (2021). Selective reinforcement of conflict processing in the Stroop task. PLOS ONE, 16(7). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0255430
Chicago author-date
Prével, Arthur, Ruth Krebs, Nanne Kukkonen, and Senne Braem. 2021. “Selective Reinforcement of Conflict Processing in the Stroop Task.” PLOS ONE 16 (7). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0255430.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Prével, Arthur, Ruth Krebs, Nanne Kukkonen, and Senne Braem. 2021. “Selective Reinforcement of Conflict Processing in the Stroop Task.” PLOS ONE 16 (7). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0255430.
Vancouver
1.
Prével A, Krebs R, Kukkonen N, Braem S. Selective reinforcement of conflict processing in the Stroop task. PLOS ONE. 2021;16(7).
IEEE
[1]
A. Prével, R. Krebs, N. Kukkonen, and S. Braem, “Selective reinforcement of conflict processing in the Stroop task,” PLOS ONE, vol. 16, no. 7, 2021.
@article{8738770,
  abstract     = {{Motivation signals have been shown to influence the engagement of cognitive control processes. However, most studies focus on the invigorating effect of reward prospect, rather than the reinforcing effect of reward feedback. The present study aimed to test whether people strategically adapt conflict processing when confronted with condition-specific congruency-reward contingencies in a manual Stroop task. Results show that the size of the Stroop effect can be affected by selectively rewarding responses following incongruent versus congruent trials. However, our findings also suggest important boundary conditions. Our first two experiments only show a modulation of the Stroop effect in the first half of the experimental blocks, possibly due to our adaptive threshold procedure demotivating adaptive behavior over time. The third experiment showed an overall modulation of the Stroop effect, but did not find evidence for a similar modulation on test items, leaving open whether this effect generalizes to the congruency conditions, or is stimulus-specific. More generally, our results are consistent with computational models of cognitive control and support contemporary learning perspectives on cognitive control. The findings also offer new guidelines and directions for future investigations on the selective reinforcement of cognitive control processes.}},
  articleno    = {{e0255430}},
  author       = {{Prével, Arthur and Krebs, Ruth and Kukkonen, Nanne and Braem, Senne}},
  issn         = {{1932-6203}},
  journal      = {{PLOS ONE}},
  keywords     = {{Multidisciplinary,COGNITIVE CONTROL,REWARD,CONTINGENCY,BEHAVIOR,PERFORMANCE,INHIBITION,ACTIVATION,ATTENTION}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{7}},
  pages        = {{21}},
  title        = {{Selective reinforcement of conflict processing in the Stroop task}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0255430}},
  volume       = {{16}},
  year         = {{2021}},
}

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