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Atten Percept Psychophys. 2011 Nov;73(8):2514-27. doi: 10.3758/s13414-011-0188-5.

Enhancement of perceptual representations by endogenous attention biases competition in response selection.

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School of Psychology and Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre, Cardiff University, Tower Building, Park Place, Cardiff CF10 3AT, UK.


Perception and response selection are core processes in the generation of overt behavior. Selective attention is known to facilitate behavioral performance by altering perceptual processes. It remains unclear, however, whether selective attention can aid the resolution of response conflict, and if so, at what stage of processing this takes place. In two experiments, an endogenous cuing task was combined with a flanker task to assess the interaction of selective attention with response selection. The results of Experiment 1 show that cuing reduces the flanker-congruency effect when the cue and flanker are presented in close temporal proximity to each other. The results of Experiment 2 demonstrate that pre- but not post-cuing the target reduced the congruency effect, showing that selective attention can affect performance, but is ineffective once stimulus processing has proceeded to response selection. Our results provide evidence that selective attention can aid the resolution of response conflict by altering early perceptual processing stages.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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