Stroop Test – a test of cognition

January 24, 2023

The Stroop test is a widely used psychological test. It measures the ability to attend to one stimuli while ignoring others. It was first developed in 1935 by John Ridley Stroop. He was looking to understand the nature of interference in mental processing. The test has since become a classic tool in the study of cognitive psychology and neuroscience. It is used to understand cognitive processes, including attention, perception, and memory.

The basic design of the Stroop test is simple. Participants are presented with a list of words. Each word is printed in a different colour. The task of the participant is to name the colour of the ink that each word is printed in. Your goal is to be quick and accurate.

However, the words themselves are the names of colours, and the colour of the ink that the words are printed in is different from the colour that the word represents. For example, the word “red” may be printed in blue ink. This creates a conflict between the word and the colour of the ink and requires the participant to selectively attend to the colour of the ink while ignoring the meaning of the word. If you have played the game Luminosty, one of the games you probably played was this word / colour game.

One of the most important findings to emerge from research on the Stroop test is that attention is not a unitary process. It is instead composed of several different subprocesses. For example, research has shown that attention is divided into two main subsystems. There is an early selection subsystem that filters out irrelevant information. You also have a late selection subsystem that processes the remaining information. The Stroop test is particularly useful for studying these subsystems, as it allows researchers to manipulate the level of conflict between the colour of the ink and the meaning of the word.

The Stroop test has also been used to study the neural basis of cognitive processes. For example, research has shown that different brain regions are involved in different aspects of the Stroop task. The anterior cingulate cortex, for example, is involved in resolving conflict between the colour of the ink and the meaning of the word, while the prefrontal cortex is involved in the late selection process.

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