Color-word matching stroop task: separating interference and response conflict

Neuroimage. 2001 Jan;13(1):29-36. doi: 10.1006/nimg.2000.0665.


The Stroop interference task requires a person to respond to a specific dimension of a stimulus while suppressing a competing stimulus dimension. Previous PET and fMRI studies using the Color Stroop paradigm have shown increased activity in the "cognitive division" of the cingulate cortex. In our fMRI study with nine subjects, we used a Color-Word Matching Stroop task. A frontoparietal network, including structures in the lateral prefrontal cortex, the frontopolar region, the intraparietal sulcus, as well as the lateral occipitotemporal gyrus, was activated when contrasting the incongruent vs the neutral condition. However, no substantial activation in either the right or left hemisphere of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) was detected. In accordance with a series of recent articles, we argue that the ACC is not specifically involved in interference processes. The ACC seems rather involved in motor preparation processes which were controlled in the present Color-Word Matching Stroop task. We argue that the region around the banks of the inferior frontal sulcus is required to solve interference problems, a concept which can also be seen as a component of task set management.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Color Perception / physiology*
  • Conflict, Psychological*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology
  • Psychophysics
  • Reaction Time