Inhibitory processes and cognitive flexibility: evidence for the theory of attentional inertia
Isabel Introzzi
Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata
Lorena Canet-Juric
Silvana Montes
Soledad López
Graziella Mascarello
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Introzzi, I., Canet-Juric, L., Montes, S., López, S., & Mascarello, G. (2015). Inhibitory processes and cognitive flexibility: evidence for the theory of attentional inertia. International Journal of Psychological Research, 8(2), 61-75.
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The aim of this study was to discriminate the differential contribution of different inhibitory processes -perceptual, cognitive and behavioral inhibition- to switching cost effect associated with alternation cognitive tasks. A correlational design was used. Several experimental paradigms (e.g., Stop signal, visual search, Stemberg´s experimental and Simon paradigm) were adapted and included in a computerized program called TAC (Introzzi & Canet Juric, 2014) to the assessment of the different cognitive processes. The final sample consisted of 45 adults (18-50 years). Perceptual and behavioral inhibition shows moderate and low correlations with attentional cost, cognitive inhibition shows no relation with flexibility and only perceptual inhibition predicts switching costs effects, suggesting that different inhibitory processes contribute differentially to switch cost. This could be interpreted as evidence to Attentional Inertia Theory main argument which postulates that inhibition plays an essential role in the ability to flexibly switch between tasks and/or representations.
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