Preparation time modulates pro-active control and enhances task conflict in task switching

Eyal Kalanthroff*, Avishai Henik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Performance in the Stroop task reflects two conflicts-informational (between the incongruent word and ink color) and task (between relevant color naming and irrelevant word reading). Neuroimaging findings support the existence of task conflict in congruent trials. A behavioral indication for task conflict-Stroop reverse facilitation-was found in previous studies under low task-control conditions. Task switching also causes reduction in task control because the task set frequently changes. We hypothesized that it would be harder to efficiently manage task conflicts in switching situations and, specifically, as cue-target interval (CTI) decreases. This suggestion was examined in two experiments using a combined Stroop task-switching design. We found a large interference effect and reverse facilitation that decreased with elongation of CTI. Results imply that task switching reduces pro-active task control and thereby enhances the informational and the task conflicts. This calls for a revision of recent control models to include task conflict.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)276-288
Number of pages13
JournalPsychological Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes


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