ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (6): 900-908.doi: 1042.2016.00900

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Interference control training: Content, effect and mechanism

ZHAO Xin1; JIA Lina1; ZAN Xiangyi2   

  1. (1 Behavior Rehabilitation Training Research Institution, School of Psychology, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China) (2 Lanzhou University Second Hospital, Lanzhou 730070, China)
  • Received:2015-07-20 Online:2016-06-15 Published:2016-06-15
  • Contact: ZAN Xiangyi, E-mail:


Recent studies suggest that interference control can be modified with training. Researchers often choose children, adults, the aged, and special groups as subjects. In the current study, interference control ability was trained by using Stroop and flanker tasks. The training comprised 76 to 2200 trials for five days to five weeks. Further, behavioral parameters and brain activity were measured using brain imaging techniques to evaluate the training effects. Our study found that interference control ability improved after training and the training effects were transferred to other related tasks. In addition, the training effects may be affected by multiple factors such as type of training and evaluation tasks, and individual differences. Furthermore, after cognitive training, there is a decrease in the anterior cingulate cortex activity, which is involved in conflict monitoring, and the activation of the prefrontal cortex that is associated with conflict resolution increases, thereby enhancing the degree of top-down control. Therefore, future research needs to further investigate the mechanism of interference control and to assess the retention periods of practice-related improvement.

Key words: interference control, plasticity, mechanism