Can Methodological Considerations Challenge the Dissociation of the Perceptual and Motor Inhibitory Processes?

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Using an original conflict task paradigm, Nassauer and Halperin (2003) argued that inhibition ability can be classified into two distinct perceptual and motor inhibitory processes. The current study examined the robustness of this paradigm by raising two major methodological points: the amount of information that needs to be processed and the task order (fixed vs. random). Sixty young adults performed the original or modified tasks. Overall, a decrease in the amount of information had the effect of removing the stimulus conflict on some subtests. Therefore, no more inhibition performance could be assessed. Even if the findings can be interpreted as a change in response-related complexity that relates reaction time performance to the informational processing load, the discrepancies in terms of the amount of information originally designed are necessary to induce inhibitory conflicts. Additionally, unlike previous recommendations, the fixed task order initially adopted cannot be considered an essential methodological requirement.

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