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Resisting recently acted-on cues: Compatibility of Go/NoGo responses to response history modulates (frontal P3) event-related potentials

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Using event-related potentials to investigate compatibility between past and present cue–response interactions, an experiment combined elements of selective-attention and Go/NoGo tasks. In the selective-attention part of each trial, participants responded to one of two visible numerical digits. Immediately afterward, in the Go/NoGo part of each trial, one of the same two digits appeared, with participants required to press the corresponding key on Go trials and to withhold responding on NoGo trials. Higher-amplitude anterior P3 responses on NoGo than on Go trials emerged when participants withheld responding to a recently selected cue but were greatly diminished when participants withheld responding to a recently ignored cue. The findings suggest that episodic traces of past Go/NoGo responses guide future action decisions, such that increased response control is needed to overcome bias to respond to recently acted-on NoGo cues.

Keywords: Action control; Categorization; Cognitive control; Episodic retrieval; Event-related potentials; Go/NoGo; P3

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8986.2006.00484.x

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology, State University of New York, Stony Brook, New York, USA 2: University of California, Los Angeles, Neuropsychiatric Institute and Hospital, Los Angeles, California, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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