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Object-based attentional selection can modulate the Stroop effect

The Stroop (1935) effect is the inability to ignore a color word when the task is to report the ink color of that word (i.e., to say "green" to the word RED in green ink). The present study investigated whether object-based processing contributes to the Stroop effect. According to this view, observers are unable to ignore irrelevant features of an attended object (Kahneman & Henik, 1981). In three experiments, participants had to name the color of one of two superimposed rectangles and to ignore words that appeared in the relevant object, in the irrelevant object, or in the background. The words were congruent, neutral, or incongruent with respect to the correct color response. Words in the irrelevant object and in the background produced significant Stroop effects, consistent with earlier findings. Importantly, however, words in the relevant object produced larger Stroop effects than did the other conditions, suggesting amplified processing of all the features of an attended object. Thus, object-based processing can modulate the Stroop effect. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)



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