Evidence for Task Conflict in the Stroop Effect

Liat Goldfarb, Avishai Henik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


C. M. MacLeod and P. A. MacDonald (2000) suggested that congruent and incongruent Stroop stimuli cause more task conflict than neutral stimuli because the anterior cingulate cortex is more activated with these stimuli. This study investigated behavioral expression for this pattern. Experiment 1 reduced task conflict control by increasing the proportion of nonword neutrals. Additionally, half the trials had conflict or neutral cues. The control reduction revealed the task conflict. For noncued trials, response time was longer for congruent stimuli than for neutral stimuli (reverse facilitation effect). In addition, response time for congruent stimuli was longer when stimuli were uncued vs. cued. Experiment 2 increased task conflict control by changing the neutral stimuli to noncolor words. Consequently, the task conflict expression disappeared.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1170-1176
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Stroop effect
  • anterior cingulate cortex
  • control mechanism
  • task conflict

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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