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Exp Brain Res. 2011 Feb;208(4):595-605. doi: 10.1007/s00221-010-2507-9. Epub 2010 Dec 16.

Stroop matching task: role of feature selection and temporal modulation.

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Departamento de Fisiologia e Farmacologia, Instituto Biomédico, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Prof Ernani de Melo 101, 24210-130, São Domingos, Niterói, RJ, Brazil.


We conducted an event-related potential (ERP) study to investigate the electrocortical dynamics of attentional feature-based processing in the Stroop matching task. Participants in the study (n = 37) compared the ink color of a colored word with the meaning of a color-word in white ink. The two task stimuli were presented simultaneously or with SOAs (Stimulus Onset Asynchrony) of 400 and 1,200 ms. The Stroop matching effect was maximal during SOA-0, was reduced at SOA-400, and was inverted at SOA-1200. We focused the ERP analysis on the N1 component. Paralleling the behavioral results, the N1 amplitude was greater for congruent stimuli than incongruent stimuli during SOA-0. This difference was attenuated at SOA-400, and at SOA-1200, an inverse pattern was observed. The results provide evidence that early selection processing participated in the Stroop matching task phenomenon and also suggest that the temporal modulation of early attention is a function of task characteristics such as SOA.

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