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ERIC Number: EJ860422
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Aug
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0028-3932
Attentional Control of Task and Response in Lateral and Medial Frontal Cortex: Brain Activity and Reaction Time Distributions
Aarts, Esther; Roelofs, Ardi; van Turennout, Miranda
Neuropsychologia, v47 n10 p2089-2099 Aug 2009
It is unclear whether task conflict is reflected in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) or in more dorsal regions of the medial frontal cortex (MFC). When participants switch between tasks involving incongruent, congruent, and neutral stimuli, it is possible to examine both response conflict (incongruent vs. congruent) and task conflict (congruent vs. neutral). Here, we report an event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study that examined which areas in frontal cortex, including MFC, are implicated in response conflict, task conflict, or both. Stimuli were incongruent and congruent arrow-word combinations, or arrows and words only in a neutral condition. Participants responded manually to the arrow or word. The task varied every second trial. The behavioral data revealed response conflict (incongruent greater than congruent) and task conflict (congruent greater than neutral) in mean reaction times and ex-Gaussian latency distribution components. The imaging data revealed activity in both the ACC and a more dorsal region in the MFC (the medial superior frontal gyrus) related to response conflict as well as task conflict. These conflict effects were observed independent of the task performed (arrow or word) or the trial type (repeat or switch). In lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC), response conflict was associated with activity in ventral LPFC, whereas task conflict activated both ventral and dorsal regions. Thus, whereas the type of conflict (response vs. task) was differentiated in LPFC, no such differentiation was found in MFC, including the ACC. Models of ACC functioning may require modification to take account of these findings. (Contains 5 figures and 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A