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Zinchenko, Artyom; Mahmud, Waich; Alam, Musrura Mefta; Kabir, Nadia; Al-Amin, Mamun (2016): Picture Novelty Influences Response Selection and Inhibition: The Role of the In Group Bias and Task-Difficulty.
In: PLOS ONE 11(10), e0165470


The human visual system prioritizes processing of novel information, leading to faster detection of novel stimuli. Novelty facilitates conflict resolution through the enhanced early perceptual processing. However, the role of novel information processing during the conflict-related response selection and inhibition remains unclear. Here, we used a face-gender classification version of the Simon task and manipulated task-difficulty and novelty of task-relevant information. The novel quality of stimuli was made task-irrelevant, and an in-group bias was tightly controlled by manipulation of a gender of picture stimuli. We found that the in-group bias modulated the role of novelty in executive control. Novel opposite-sex stimuli facilitated response inhibition only when the task was not demanding. By contrast, novelty enhanced response selection irrespective of the in-group factor when task-difficulty was increased. These findings support the in-group bias mechanism of visual processing, in cases when attentional resources are not limited by a demanding task. The results are further discussed along the lines of the attentional load theory and neural mechanisms of response-inhibition and locomotor activity. In conclusion, our data showed that processing of novel information may enhance executive control through facilitated response selection and inhibition.