ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2014, Vol. 46 ›› Issue (4): 459-466.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2014.00459

• 论文 • 上一篇    下一篇



  1. (西南大学心理学部, 认知与人格教育部重点实验室, 重庆 400715)
  • 收稿日期:2013-06-24 发布日期:2014-04-25 出版日期:2014-04-25
  • 通讯作者: 陈安涛
  • 基金资助:

    国家自然科学基金项目(31170980、81271477), 全国优秀博士学位论文作者专项资金资助项目(201107)和教育部新世纪优秀人才支持计划(NCET-11-0698)资助。

Subliminal Reward Modulates the Tradeoff between Proactive and Reactive Cognitive Control

XU Lei;WANG Lijun;ZHAO Yuanfang;TAN Jinfeng;CHEN Antao   

  1. (School of Psychology, Key Laboratory of Cognition and Personality of Ministry of Education, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China)
  • Received:2013-06-24 Online:2014-04-25 Published:2014-04-25
  • Contact: CHEN Antao


本研究采用奖励版的AX-CPT任务, 通过控制奖励线索和反馈的呈现方式, 设置出基线、阈上奖励、阈下奖励三种条件, 考察习得的奖励联结和奖励动机能否以潜意识的方式影响认知任务的表现和认知控制的权衡。结果显示:奖励线索只在阈上呈现时提高AX序列的任务表现; 与基线条件相比, 阈上和阈下奖励条件下认知控制的权衡均偏向主动性控制, 且这种偏向在两者间无显著差异。这表明习得的阈下奖励线索可以调节认知控制的权衡, 使被试像阈上奖励时那样偏向主动性控制。

关键词: 阈上奖励, 阈下奖励, 认知控制的权衡, 主动性控制


The Dual Mechanisms of Control (DMC) theory suggests that cognitive control consists of two modes: proactive control (anticipatory and sustained control during the cue encoding and maintenance periods) and reactive control (control is engaged after rather than before the probe and in a just-in-time manner rather than consistently). There is a tradeoff between these two kinds of control to optimize task performance. Several studies have shown that the reward context is associated with a shift towards proactive control. Recently, it is suggested that awareness of reward cue is not necessary for the cue to work. Reward cue can improve working memory and cognitive control even when it occurs beyond subjects’ consciousness. However, it is still unclear how subliminal reward modulates the tradeoff between proactive and reactive control. The present study conducted an experiment to investigate this question by using the AX-CPT task. In this study, participants were engaged in a reward version of AX-CPT task, in which some reward-related cues and feedbacks were introduced. These reward-related cues and feedbacks were presented supraliminally (284 ms followed by a mask for 16 ms) or subliminally (16 ms followed by a mask for 284 ms) before and after each cue-probe sequence of AX-CPT task. There were two kinds of reward-related cues (“$$$” indicating a 50 scores potential reward, “###” indicating no potential reward) and two corresponding feedbacks (“+50” and “+--”). In AX-CPT task, letters (“A”, “B”, “X”, and “Y”) were individually and sequentially displayed on a computer screen. A target response was required only when an ‘‘X’’ probe is preceded by an ‘‘A’’ cue (AX trials). All other probe stimuli (AY, BX, and BY trials) required non-target responses. Participants were told to complete baseline condition, supraliminal reward condition and subliminal reward condition one by one. In baseline condition, the reward-related cues were presented subliminally and participants performed the AX-CPT task without any instruction on financial incentives. During the two subsequent conditions, participants would gain some money if they respond correctly and quickly. The only difference between supraliminal and subliminal reward conditions was the presentation of reward-related cues and feedbacks, the former was supraliminal while the latter subliminal. Two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to analyze the error rate and RT. The behavioral results showed that supraliminal reward cues improved the performance of AX trials while subliminal reward cues had no effects. Nevertheless, the interactions between trial types (AY vs. BX) and reward conditions (baseline vs. supraliminal reward, or baseline vs. subliminal reward), which was thought to index the tradeoff between proactive and reactive control, was significant. It means that just like supraliminal reward cues, subliminal reward cues modulated the tradeoff between proactive and reactive control and led to a preference toward proactive control. In contrast to some recent results, the present study does develop the DMC theory and the research on subliminal reward.

Key words: subliminal reward, supraliminal reward, tradeoff of cognitive control, proactive control