Investigating the Neural Correlates of the Stroop Effect with Magnetoencephalography

Sophie Galer*, Marc Op De Beeck, Charline Urbain, Mathieu Bourguignon, Noémie Ligot, Vincent Wens, Brice Marty, Patrick Van Bogaert, Philippe Peigneux, Xavier De Tiège

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Reporting the ink color of a written word when it is itself a color name incongruent with the ink color (e.g. “red” printed in blue) induces a robust interference known as the Stroop effect. Although this effect has been the subject of numerous functional neuroimaging studies, its neuronal substrate is still a matter of debate. Here, we investigated the spatiotemporal dynamics of interference-related neural events using magnetoencephalography (MEG) and voxel-based analyses (SPM8). Evoked magnetic fields (EMFs) were acquired in 12 right-handed healthy subjects performing a color-word Stroop task. Behavioral results disclosed a classic interference effect with longer mean reaction times for incongruent than congruent stimuli. At the group level, EMFs’ differences between incongruent and congruent trials spanned from 380 to 700 ms post-stimulus onset. Underlying neural sources were identified in the left pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA) and in the left posterior parietal cortex (PPC) confirming the role of these regions in conflict processing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-103
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Topography
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


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