The N2 component is a well-known neural correlate of conflict monitoring (CM), being more negative in the presence of conflicting information in visual conflict tasks. However, whether to-be-ignored auditory distractors can introduce additional conflict remains unknown. In the present work, subjects performed a visual (V) and audiovisual (AV) version of a Go/NoGo flanker task, and responded only if the target arrow pointed toward a pre-specified direction (e.g., left). In the AV task, in which to-be-ignored auditory distractors that were semantically associated with the flankers were concurrently presented, the congruency effect on both RT and N2 amplitude was enhanced, confirming that additional conflict can be brought about by cross-modal distractors at both behavioural and neural levels. Consistent with the hypothesis that N2 amplitude reflects response conflict in visual conflict tasks, within-subject correlation between N2 amplitude and RT was significant in the Go conditions for the V task (congruent/incongruent). However, for the AV task, the correlation was significant only in the congruent condition. These findings suggest that while the cross-modal conflict is registered by the CM process, only part of this conflict could effectively induce response conflict.
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