, Volume 33, Issue 8, pp 1325-1336

The visual-auditory color-word Stroop asymmetry and its time course


Four experiments examined crossmodal versions of the Stroop task in order (1) to look for Stroop asymmetries in color naming, spoken-word naming, and written-word naming and to evaluate the time course of these asymmetries, and (2) to compare these findings to current models of the Stroop effect. Participants named color patches while ignoring spoken color words presented with an onset varying from 300 msec before to 300 msec after the onset of the color (Experiment 1), or they named the spoken words and ignored the colors (Experiment 2). A secondary visual detection task assured that the participants looked at the colors in both tasks. Spoken color words yielded Stroop effects in color naming, but colors did not yield an effect in spoken-word naming at any stimulus onset asynchrony. This asymmetry in effects was obtained with equivalent color- and spoken-word-naming latencies. Written color words yielded a Stroop effect in naming spoken words (Experiment 3), and spoken color words yielded an effect in naming written words (Experiment 4). These results were interpreted as most consistent with an architectural account of the color-word Stroop asymmetry, in contrast with discriminability and pathway strength accounts.

The preparation of this article was supported by a VICI Grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO).The research was supported by the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, F. C. Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging, and the Nijmegen Institute for Cognition and Information. I am indebted to Bicoor Bolla-Bong and Sascha Oberrecht for their help in preparing and running the experiments, and to Daniel Algom, Wilhelm Glaser, James McQueen, Antje Meyer, Rebecca Gross, and the members of the Utterance Encoding Group at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics for helpful comments.