Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Electrophysiological measures of conflict detection and resolution in the Stroop task

Coderre, Emily L.; Conklin, Kathy; van Heuven, Walter J.B.


Emily L. Coderre


Conflict detection and resolution is crucial in a cognitive task like the Stroop task. Previous studies have identified an early negativity component (Ninc) as a prominent marker of Stroop conflict in event-related potentials (ERPs). However, to what extent this ERP component reflects conflict detection and/or resolution is still unclear. Here, we report a Stroop task in which the stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) of color and word stimuli presentation was manipulated in order to disentangle the roles of conflict detection and conflict resolution in generating Stroop-related ERP components. Separating the word from the color information gives us precise control over the timing of conflict. If the Ninc is related with conflict resolution it should be absent when the word appears during response preparation, as in a long-latency positive SOA. Our data shows that the Ninc occurs in all SOAs, even after a response has been made, supporting its role in the detection of stimulus conflict rather than conflict resolution. The use of SOA manipulation therefore allows for the examination of a wider temporal spectrum of interference in order to specify the functions of this conflict-related component. These results provide insight into the neural
signatures of conflict processes, and have implications for models of cognitive control mechanisms in the brain.


Coderre, E. L., Conklin, K., & van Heuven, W. J. (2011). Electrophysiological measures of conflict detection and resolution in the Stroop task. Brain Research, 1413,

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Sep 21, 2011
Deposit Date Mar 15, 2015
Publicly Available Date Mar 15, 2015
Journal Brain Research
Print ISSN 0006-8993
Electronic ISSN 0006-8993
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 1413
Keywords Stroop, Electroencephalography (EEG), Cognitive control
Conflict detection, Stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA), Manipulation
Public URL
Publisher URL


CoderreConklinVanHeuven_BrainResearch_2011.pdf (443 Kb)

Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address:

You might also like

Downloadable Citations