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No negative priming without cognitive control

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There is evidence that the efficiency of selective attention depends on the availability of cognitive control mechanisms as distractor processing has been found to increase with high load on working memory or dual task coordination (Lavie, Hirst, de Fockert, & Viding, 2004). We tested the prediction that cognitive control load would also affect the negative priming effect produced when a distractor from 1 trial appears as a target on the next trial. We measured priming on trials that involved either high or low cognitive control load, and found that under high control load, negative priming was eliminated, and could even be reversed to positive priming, suggesting that the negative priming effect depends on the availability of cognitive control resources.

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