The anticue task: no effect of working memory load on inhibitory control


  • Nienke Helena Maria Overveld, van



Several studies have reported a close link between inhibitory control and working memory (WM), however the exact mechanisms remain elusive. The present study was designed to investigate the effect of WM load on inhibitory control using a novel paradigm – the anticue keypress task. 22 right-handed students (21.0 ± 1.2 years; 11 males) performed four counterbalanced dual-task conditions on a computer: (pro- / anticue) x (high / low WM load). Three randomized preparation intervals, i.e. 150, 250 and 450 ms, separated cue and target onsets in all reaction time trials. No interaction was observed for the factor WM load with the pro- or anticue task, F(1, 21) = .21, p = .65. In conclusion, no distinctive influence of WM load on inhibitory control (anticue) compared to automatic response selection (procue) was found. Therefore, it is suggested that independent neural areas underlie WM performance and inhibitory control.


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