Time Course of Inhibitory Control During Analogical Reasoning: An Event-Related Potential Approach


Inhibitory control is an important aspect of analogical reasoning critically dependent on prefrontal cortex. We used a novel visual analogy paradigm with scalp electroencephalography (EEG) to explore several ways the brain uses inhibitory control to perform analogy. Previous studies have suggested that inhibitory control helps to manage working memory, so we used a separate task to measure individual differences in working-memory span to help us interpret differences in inhibitory control during reasoning. We found evidence that low working-memory span individuals likely lacked the necessary inhibitory control to keep unattended relations from entering visuospatial working memory early in processing. We also found that a late frontal event-related potential sensitive to relational distraction was differentially modulated in high and low working memory span individuals. These findings provide additional evidence for the importance of inhibitory control during analogical processing.

Back to Table of Contents