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Dissociable Interference-Control Processes in Perception and Memory

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Control over interference is a pervasive feature of cognitive life. Central to research on interference control has been the identification of its underlying mechanisms. Investigations have focused on processes that filter out distracting perceptual information, leading to negative priming, and processes that discard intruding memories that cause proactive interference. Theories differ regarding whether or not a single process during episodic retrieval underlies both negative priming and the resolution of proactive interference. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we combined both phenomena into a single paradigm and found that occipital cortex shows activation uniquely related to negative priming, whereas activation increases in left lateral prefrontal cortex are uniquely associated with proactive interference. This pattern of results contradicts theories that rely on a single process to account for both phenomena. However, results also showed common recruitment of right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and parietal regions and therefore suggest that some control processes are shared.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02114.x

Affiliations: University of Michigan

Publication date: May 1, 2008

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