Context-specific learning and control: The roles of awareness, task relevance, and relative salience

Consciousness and Cognition 17 (1):22-36 (2008)
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Abstract

The processes mediating dynamic and flexible responding to rapidly changing task-environments are not well understood. In the present research we employ a Stroop procedure to clarify the contribution of context-sensitive control processes to online performance. In prior work Stroop interference varied as a function of probe location context, with larger Stroop interference occurring for contexts associated with a high proportion of congruent items [Crump, M. J., Gong, Z., & Milliken, B. . The context-specific proportion congruent stroop effect: location as a contextual cue. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 13, 316–321.] Here, we demonstrate that this effect does not depend on awareness of the context manipulation, but that it can depend on attention to the predictive context dimension, and on the relative salience of the target and predictive context dimensions. We discuss the implications of our results for current theories of cognitive control

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