Automatic inhibition of habitual response associated with a non-target object while performing goal-directed actions

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This study is devoted to investigating mechanisms that inhibit habituated response associated with affordance of a non-target while executing action directed to a target. In four experiments, a paradigm was used that required a rapid left- or right-hand response according to the direction of the target arrow presented simultaneously or in close temporal proximity to a non-target whose handle position afforded grasping with the left or right hand. In general, responding was decelerated and more erroneous when the handle position was compatible with the responding hand. This effect of response inhibition was removed when the delay between the non-target offset and target onset was longer than 200 ms, and reversed into response facilitation when the target onset was delayed for 400–600 ms. The study suggests that processes that control withholding habitual response associated with affordance of a non-target utilise response inhibition mechanisms overlapping with those involved in behavioural control of the stop-signal task. This response inhibition is triggered automatically and directly by affordance of a non-target without preceding response excitation associated with this affordance cue.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)716-732
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 515 Psychology
  • 6162 Cognitive science

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