This research was supported by an Economic and Social Research Council grant (PTA-030-2003-01369) awarded to G. H. We are grateful to Zara Bergström, Nick Yeung, Sara Garib-Penna, and Eva Van den Bussche for helpful comments on the manuscript.
Unconscious priming of a no-go response
Article first published online: 17 AUG 2009
Copyright © 2009 Society for Psychophysiological Research
Volume 46, Issue 6, pages 1258–1269, November 2009
How to Cite
Hughes, G., Velmans, M. and De Fockert, J. (2009), Unconscious priming of a no-go response. Psychophysiology, 46: 1258–1269. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.2009.00873.x
- Issue published online: 12 OCT 2009
- Article first published online: 17 AUG 2009
- (Received September 24, 2008; Accepted February 20, 2009)
- Unconscious processes;
- Normal volunteers
Although previous findings suggest that motor preparation can be initiated unconsciously, there is some debate as to whether inhibitory control can occur unconsciously. Results from research involving response conflict points to an association between inhibitory control and conscious awareness. However, no previous research has assessed whether unconscious information can influence brain activity correlates of inhibition when a response must be completely withheld. We recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) in a go/no-go task with subliminal primes and demonstrated that inhibition-related ERP components were modulated as a function of the congruency of the primes. Furthermore, these ERP modulations were directly related to the extent to which participants' performance was influenced by the primes. These findings suggest that inhibition of an impending motor action can be initiated by an unconscious stimulus.