Switch costs have been constantly found asymmetrical when switching between two tasks of unequal dominance. We used a combined Stroop-task-switching paradigm and recorded electroencephalographic (EEG) signals to explore the neural mechanism underlying the phenomenon of asymmetrical switch costs. The results revealed that a fronto-central N2 component demonstrated greater negativity in word switch (cW) trials relative to word repeat (wW) trials, and both First P3 and P3b components over the parieto-central region exhibited greater positivity in color switch (wC) trials relative to color repeat (cC) trials, whereas a contrasting switch-related fronto-central SP effect was found to have an opposite pattern for each task. Moreover, the time-frequency analysis showed a right-frontal lower alpha band (9-11 Hz) modulation in the word task, whereas a fronto-central upper alpha band (11-13 Hz) modulation was exclusively found in the color task. These results provide evidence for dissociable neural processes, which are related to inhibitory control and endogenous control, contributing to the generation of asymmetrical switch costs.
- Asymmetric switch costs
- Combined Stroop-task-switching paradigm