Monthly
208 pp. per issue
8 1/2 x 11, illustrated
ISSN
0898-929X
E-ISSN
1530-8898
2014 Impact factor:
4.69

Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

February 2015, Vol. 27, No. 2, Pages 409-423
(doi: 10.1162/jocn_a_00712)
© 2014 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Dissociable Effects of Motivation and Expectancy on Conflict Processing: An fMRI Study
Article PDF (541.07 KB)
Abstract

Previous studies suggest that both motivation and task difficulty expectations activate brain regions associated with cognitive control. However, it remains an open question whether motivational and cognitive determinants of control have similar or dissociable impacts on conflict processing on a neural level. The current study tested the effects of motivation and conflict expectancy on activity in regions related to processing of the target and the distractor information. Participants performed a picture–word interference task in which we manipulated the size of performance-dependent monetary rewards (level of motivation) and the ratio of congruent to incongruent trials within a block (level of conflict expectancy). Our results suggest that motivation improves conflict processing by facilitating task-relevant stimulus processing and task difficulty expectations mainly modulate the processing of distractor information. We conclude that motivation and conflict expectancy engage dissociable control strategies during conflict resolution.