Although executive functions (e.g., response inhibition) are often thought to interact consciously with reward, recent studies have demonstrated that they can also be triggered by unconscious stimuli. Further research has suggested a close relationship between consciously and unconsciously triggered response inhibition. To date, however, the effect of reward on unconsciously triggered response inhibition has not been explored. To address this issue, participants in this study performed runs of a modified Go/No-Go task during which they were exposed to both high and low value monetary rewards presented both supraliminally and subliminally. Participants were informed that they would earn the reward displayed if they responded correctly to each trial of the run. According to the results, when rewards were presented supraliminally, a greater unconsciously triggered response inhibition was observed for high-value rewards than for low-value rewards. In contrast, when rewards were presented subliminally, no enhanced unconsciously triggered response inhibition was observed. Results revealed that supraliminal and subliminal rewards have distinct effects on unconsciously triggered response inhibition. These findings have important implications for extending our understanding of the relationship between reward and response inhibition.
Diao, Liuting; Ding, Cody; Qi, Senqing; Zeng, Qinghong; Huang, Bo; Xu, Mengsi; Fan, Lingxia; and Yang, Dong, "Influence of Supraliminal Reward Information on Unconsciously Triggered Response Inhibition" (2014). Education Sciences and Professional Programs Faculty Works. 5.