Performance of the combined test with the tasks of Stroop, Poffenberger, Sperry in the forced and voluntary regimes

T. Kutsenko, D. Nasiedkin


Introduction.Elaboration of new methods of investigation of executive functions and their implementation in new computer technologies is a challenge of our time. Different regimes of stimuli presentation are sensitive to assessment of functional state of nervous system.

.           Purpose. The aim of research was to compare performance of the combined test with the tasks of Stroop, Poffenberger, Sperry in the forced and voluntary regimes.

            Methods. The study involved 54 students of educational-scientific center "Institute of Biology and Medicine" of both genders – 30 right-handed (15 women) and 24 left-handed (12 women). Stimuli (the word "Green" or "Red" written in relevant or irrelevant color) were exposed on the right or left from the center of the screen. In the case of congruence the word and its semantic meaning should press one button by the ipsilateral hand ("yes"), while in the case of mismatch – the other button by the contralateral one ("no"). There were used two tests. In Test 1 stimuli were exposed in the forced regime, while in the Test 2 – in voluntary, without time deprivation.

            Results. It was appeared that latent period (LP) of reactions for both tests didn’t differ. The structure of answers was the same for both tests as well and is in accordance with our previous results (comparison of latent period of reactions of similar responses of both hands showed that answer "yes" is faster for the right hand and answer "no" – for the left one, so that the difference in latent period between "yes" and "no" for the left hand is shorter than for the right one). This points out to easily transfer of information from the left hemisphere to the right one than in the opposite direction. Errors quantity was dramatically higher while passing Test 1. This means that forced regime is highly stressful for subjects and is recommended only in special cases, such as professional selection.

            Originality. It was created a new modification of combined test with the tasks of Stroop, Poffenberger, Sperry, written for MS Windows operative system. There is proved the validity of results obtained with use of this test, according to which information more easily transfer from the left hemisphere to the right one than in the opposite direction.

            Conclusion. When performing a combined test with the tasks of Stroop, Poffenberger, Sperry, under the condition of the forced stimulus regime, a significantly greater number of errors is made in comparison with the voluntary regime, although the latent periods of the stimuli responses are the same, indicating a greater complexity of forced stimulus regime. The nature of the responses, both in the forced and in the voluntary mode, remains the same. This means that by the both tests are measured indices of the same functions.


task of Stroop; tasks of Poffenberger; forced regime; voluntary regime


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