The present study investigated the role of cognitive control on semantic information during visual word recognition by exploiting taboo stimuli in a lexical-decision task. We relied on delta plots and electromyography (EMG) to assess different hypothetical mechanisms of cognitive control. Previous research suggests that taboo stimuli slow down the performance across a variety of tasks due to their attention-grabbing nature. One possibility is that cognitive control counteracts the detrimental effects of taboo connotation by actively dampening such prepotent yet task-irrelevant information. Consistent with this hypothesis, we found a reversal of taboo interference effect in slowest responses, signaling the deployment of a selective suppression mechanism that needs time to fully accrue. For electromyographic data, we focused on partial errors (trials showing a subthreshold activation of the incorrect response hand) to index response-monitoring processes intervening to prevent and correct errors. We found no modulation of the likelihood of partial errors and, more generally, of response accuracy as a function of taboo connotation. Taken together, the results suggest that cognitive control may intervene to selectively suppress fast-acting and distracting taboo information, indicating a controlled semantic processing that optimizes activation to match task-relevant goals.

Selective suppression of taboo information in visual word recognition: Evidence for cognitive control on semantics / Scaltritti, M.; Job, R.; Sulpizio, S.. - In: JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-HUMAN PERCEPTION AND PERFORMANCE. - ISSN 0096-1523. - 47:7(2021), pp. 934-945. [10.1037/xhp0000917]

Selective suppression of taboo information in visual word recognition: Evidence for cognitive control on semantics

Scaltritti M.;Job R.;
2021

Abstract

The present study investigated the role of cognitive control on semantic information during visual word recognition by exploiting taboo stimuli in a lexical-decision task. We relied on delta plots and electromyography (EMG) to assess different hypothetical mechanisms of cognitive control. Previous research suggests that taboo stimuli slow down the performance across a variety of tasks due to their attention-grabbing nature. One possibility is that cognitive control counteracts the detrimental effects of taboo connotation by actively dampening such prepotent yet task-irrelevant information. Consistent with this hypothesis, we found a reversal of taboo interference effect in slowest responses, signaling the deployment of a selective suppression mechanism that needs time to fully accrue. For electromyographic data, we focused on partial errors (trials showing a subthreshold activation of the incorrect response hand) to index response-monitoring processes intervening to prevent and correct errors. We found no modulation of the likelihood of partial errors and, more generally, of response accuracy as a function of taboo connotation. Taken together, the results suggest that cognitive control may intervene to selectively suppress fast-acting and distracting taboo information, indicating a controlled semantic processing that optimizes activation to match task-relevant goals.
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Scaltritti, M.; Job, R.; Sulpizio, S.
Selective suppression of taboo information in visual word recognition: Evidence for cognitive control on semantics / Scaltritti, M.; Job, R.; Sulpizio, S.. - In: JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-HUMAN PERCEPTION AND PERFORMANCE. - ISSN 0096-1523. - 47:7(2021), pp. 934-945. [10.1037/xhp0000917]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11572/315038
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