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Brain Imaging

Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the implicit association of concepts and attributes

L. Chee, Michael W.1,3; Sriram, N2; Soon, Chun Siong1,2; Lee, Kok Ming1

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The Implicit Association Test (IAT) examines the differential association of two object categories (e.g. flower and insect) with attribute categories (e.g. pleasant and unpleasant). When items from congruent categories (e.g. flower + pleasant) share a response key, performance is faster and more accurate than when items from incongruent categories (e.g. insect + pleasant) share a key. Performing incongruent word classification engages inhibitory processes to overcome the prepotent tendency to map emotionally congruent items to the same response key. Using fMRI on subjects undergoing the IAT, we show that the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and to a lesser extent the anterior cingulate cortex, mediate inhibitory processes where manipulation of word association is required.

© 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.


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