Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Stimulus repetition often leads to facilitated processing, resulting in neural decreases (repetition suppression) and faster RTs (repetition priming). Such repetition-related effects have been attributed to the facilitation of repeated cognitive processes and/or the retrieval of previously encoded stimulus–response (S-R) bindings. Although previous research has dissociated these two forms of learning, their interaction in the brain is not fully understood. Utilizing the spatial and temporal resolutions of fMRI and EEG, respectively, we examined a long-lag classification priming paradigm that required response repetitions or reversals at multiple levels of response representation. We found a repetition effect in occipital/temporal cortex (fMRI) that was time-locked to stimulus onset (EEG) and robust to switches in response, together with a repetition effect in inferior pFC (fMRI) that was time-locked to response onset (EEG) and sensitive to switches in response. The response-sensitive effect occurred even when changing from object names (words) to object pictures between repetitions, suggesting that S-R bindings can code abstract representations of stimuli. Most importantly, we found evidence for interference effects when incongruent S-R bindings were retrieved, with increased neural activity in inferior pFC, demonstrating that retrieval of S-R bindings can result in facilitation or interference, depending on the congruency of response between repetitions.