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Inhibitory mechanisms are affected by stimulus-response congruency

Currò, T., Candidi, M. & Calvo-Merino, B. (2023). Inhibitory mechanisms are affected by stimulus-response congruency. Current Research in Behavioral Sciences, 4, article number 100108. doi: 10.1016/j.crbeha.2023.100108


Embodied cognition theories propose that higher-order cognitive functions are grounded in the activity of cerebral systems supporting lower-level sensorimotor interactions between the body and the environment. However, the way in which sensorimotor body representations affect higher cognitive functions, such as cognitive control, is still not defined. Here we investigate in two Experiments whether the bodily content of visual stimuli and their stimulus-response congruency modulate motor inhibition, i.e., a key function of cognitive control. Participants completed an online manual Go/No-Go task on visual stimuli belonging to three categories (bodily-related: a right hand, and non-bodily related: a shape and a leaf) (Exp 1). Results show slower reaction times and lower accuracy in Go trials for hand compared to non-body images. We further investigated how the degree of stimulus-response congruency (left-hand vs right-hand stimuli) modulates the inhibitory resources (Exp 2). The data from the two experiments were compared to test whether the category (i.e., body vs. non-body images; Exp 1) or sensorimotor representations (i.e., hand stimulus-response congruency; Exp 2) affect inhibitory mechanisms differently. Results show stronger interference with high levels of congruency and support that bodily content influences response inhibition performance in accordance with an embodied view of cognitive functions.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is available under the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND license and permits non-commercial use of the work as published, without adaptation or alteration provided the work is fully attributed.
Publisher Keywords: Embodied cognition, Cognitive control, Go/no-go task, Conflict, Inhibition, Motor simulation
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
SWORD Depositor:
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