Interference evoked by a distractor presented prior to a target stimulus is reduced when the distractor-target SOA is increased, suggesting inhibition of distractor-related activation. Distractor processing is also assumed to be (strategically) adjusted to the proportions of congruent and incongruent target-distractor combinations, yielding a larger distractor interference effect when the proportion of congruent trials is higher (i.e., Proportion Congruent Effect, PCE). To explore the interplay of proportion congruent-based processing adjustment and the time course of distractor-related activation we varied the proportions of congruent and incongruent trials as well as the distractor-target SOA. To control for item-specific priming we kept distractor-related contingencies (i.e., frequency of individual distractor-target conjunctions) constant for a subset of the stimuli (and used a different subset to manipulate the proportions of congruent and incongruent trials). A PCE occurred, even for the subset of stimuli associated with constant distractor-related contingencies, thus ruling out item-specific contingency learning. Distractor interference was reduced when the SOA was increased, but this reduction did not differ between the proportion congruent conditions, as confirmed by a Bayesian analysis. Our results are consistent with independent processes pertaining to usage of distractor information for biasing response selection and distractor inhibition during the SOA. Alternative interpretations of the independent effects of the PC manipulation and the distractor-target SOA are discussed.
Keywords: Attentional adjustment; Cognitive control; Distractor processing; Proportion Congruent Effect.
Copyright © 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.