Response Inhibition

Another important aspect of executive functioning is the ability to inhibit responses to established patterns of behavior. The Stroop Test is considered a measure of a person's ability to inhibit a habitual response in favor of an unusual one. During the interference condition of the Stroop, subjects are presented with a list of colored words (blue, green, red, etc.) printed in nonmatching colored ink. For example, the word blue may be printed in red ink, and the word green may be printed in blue ink. The subject's task is to name the ink color in which the words are printed as quickly as possible. This challenge involves suppressing the strong inclination to read the color name. Many patients with frontal lobe damage are unable to inhibit reading the words and thus show impairment on this task.

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