Abstract

In Stroop-like tasks, conflict effects in behavioral measures and ACC activity are smaller on trials following an incongruent trial than following a congruent one. Researchers have found no agreement on whether these sequential effects in ACC can be driven by experienced incongruency only or also by expectations about target types. In the present fMRI experiment, we specifically manipulated the expectancies by using symbolic cues predicting with 75% or 50% certainty the incongruent or congruent targets in a Stroop-like task. Both behavioral and dorsal ACC data replicated previous sequential effects, with conflict effects being smallest for targets following the cues that predicted with 75% certainty the incongruent targets. However, these effects were not driven by experienced conflict but by symbolic cues. These results demonstrate differential attentional control activity in ACC after probabilistic cueing, providing evidence for control adjustments driven by changes in expectation.

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