Conflict adaptation and cue competition during learning in an Eriksen flanker task

Rodica Ghinescu, Todd R. Schachtman, Ashley K. Ramsey, Gabriele Gratton, Monica Fabiani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Two experiments investigated competition between cues that predicted the correct target response to a target stimulus in a response conflict procedure using a flanker task. Subjects received trials with five-character arrays with a central target character and distractor flanker characters that matched (compatible) or did not match (incompatible) the central target. Subjects' expectancies for compatible and incompatible trials were manipulated by presenting pre-trial cues that signaled the occurrence of compatible or incompatible trials. On some trials, a single cue predicted the target stimulus and the required target response. On other trials, a second redundant, predictive cue was also present on such trials. The results showed an effect of competition between cues for control over strategic responding to the target stimuli, a finding that is predicted by associative learning theories. The finding of competition between pre-trial cues that predict incompatible trials, but not cues that predict compatible trials, suggests that different strategic processes may occur during adaptation to conflict when different kinds of trials are expected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0167119
JournalPloS one
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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