Susan Teubner-Rhodes · [LSLT] To adapt or not to adapt: The question of domain-general cognitive control
Abstract: What do perceptually bistable figures, sentences vulnerable to misinterpretation and the Stroop task have in common? Although seemingly disparate, they all contain elements of conflict or ambiguity. Consequently, in order to monitor a fluctuating percept, reinterpret sentence meaning, or say "blue" when the word RED is printed in blue ink, individuals must regulate attention and engage cognitive control. According to Conflict Monitoring Theory (Botvinick, Braver, Barch, Carter, & Cohen, 2001), the detection of conflict automatically triggers cognitive control mechanisms, which can enhance resolution of subsequent conflict, namely, "conflict adaptation." If adaptation reflects the recruitment of domain-general processes, then conflict detection in one domain should facilitate conflict resolution in an entirely different domain. We report two novel findings: (i) significant conflict adaptation from a syntactic to a non-syntactic domain and (ii) from a perceptual to a verbal domain, providing strong evidence that adaptation is mediated by domain-general cognitive control.