Evidence for interaction between the stop signal and the stroop task conflict

Eyal Kalanthroff, Liat Goldfarb, Avishai Henik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Performance of the Stroop task reflects two conflicts-informational (between the incongruent word and ink color) and task (between relevant color naming and irrelevant word reading). The task conflict is usually not visible, and is only seen when task control is damaged. Using the stop-signal paradigm, a few studies demonstrated longer stop-signal reaction times for incongruent trials than for congruent trials. This indicates interaction between stopping and the informational conflict. Here we suggest that "zooming in" on task-control failure trials will reveal another interaction- between stopping and task conflict. To examine this suggestion, we combined stop-signal and Stroop tasks in the same experiment. When participants' control failed and erroneous responses to a stop signal occurred, a reverse facilitation emerged in the Stroop task (Experiment 1) and this was eliminated using methods that manipulated the emergence of the reverse facilitation (Experiment 2). Results from both experiments were replicated when all stimuli were used in the same task (Experiment 3). In erroneous response trials, only the task conflict increased, not the informational conflict. These results indicate that task conflict and stop-signal inhibition share a common control mechanism that is dissociable from the control mechanism activated by the informational conflict.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)579-592
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Executive function
  • Inhibition
  • Stop signal
  • Stroop task
  • Task conflict

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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