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Keywords:

  • Cognitive control;
  • Event-related potentials;
  • Information-processing conflict

Abstract

To examine when in the perception-action cycle resolving information-processing conflict modulates signals of the current need for cognitive control, the present work examined event-related potential correlates of response preparation (lateralized readiness potentials; LRPs) and of information-processing conflict (fronto-central N2 responses) on trial n flanker trials, as a function of whether trial n–1 entailed a congruent flanker, an incongruent flanker, or a NoGo cue. Although LRP-indexed erroneous response preparation was substantial on incongruent trials across all levels of trial n–1, N2 amplitudes and behavioral interference effects were attenuated on incongruent trials following NoGo and incongruent (relative to congruent) trials. Even after initial attentional and motor-preparation processes have transpired, then, relatively later control mechanisms appear sufficient to signal a reduced need to engage cognitive control anew.