Relation between field dependence-independence and cognitive control
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The present study aimed at investigating the relation between field dependence- independence, measured by means of the Embedded Figure Test (EFT), and performance on the Simon task, which is usually employed to assess cognitive control processes. 20 participants classified as field-dependent and 20 participants classified as field-independent were administered a Simon task in which they had to emit a lateralized response according to the color of a left or right- presented stimulus by ignoring its location. Results showed a larger Simon effect (i.e., faster responses when stimulus and response locations spatially corresponded than when they did not correspond) for participants classified as field dependent than for those classified as field independent. The analysis of the Simon effect as a function of correspondence sequence showed no difference between the two groups. These results seem to suggest that the ability to deal with a conflict within a trial and the ability to modify performance based on the conflict experienced in a prior trial depend on different mechanisms. Our data suggest that only the first ability is related to the cognitive style of field dependence-independence.