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J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform. 2008 Oct;34(5):1229-35. doi: 10.1037/0096-1523.34.5.1229.

Long-term aftereffects of response inhibition: memory retrieval, task goals, and cognitive control.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37203, USA.


Cognitive control theories attribute control to executive processes that adjust and control behavior online. Theories of automaticity attribute control to memory retrieval. In the present study, online adjustments and memory retrieval were examined, and their roles in controlling performance in the stop-signal paradigm were elucidated. There was evidence of short-term response time adjustments after unsuccessful stopping. In addition, it was found that memory retrieval can slow responses for 1-20 trials after successful inhibition, which suggests the automatic retrieval of task goals. On the basis of these findings, the authors concluded that cognitive control can rely on both memory retrieval and executive processes.

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