PSY605: Executive Control

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  1. What controls the orientation of attention?
    • Source-Site Model
    • Posner and Peterson
    • Frontal-parietal control tells what attention should be doing at temporal, occipital, etc.
  2. Executive functions
    • Higher order cogntive operations that are subserved by the prefrontal cortex
    • Programming, regulating, monitoring, attention/inhibition, task management, contextual coding, planning
    • Ability to plan for a goal, be flexible, prioritize tasks, switch between tasks, evaluate efficacy
  3. Model of Cognitive Control
    • Schemata: Fully automatic processing (knowledge)
    • Contention Scheduling: Passive processing controlled (action sequence)
    • Supervisory Attentional System: Overriding action sequence
  4. Contention scheduling
    • Automatic organization of schemata together
    • Without conscious awareness
    • When routines clash, relative importance is used to determine which to perform
  5. Cortex associated with Executive Functioning
    • Lateral Prefrontal Cortex
    • Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex

  6. Dysexecutive Syndrome
    Damage in the middle/superior/inferior frontal gyrus (MFG, SFG, IGF)
  7. Wisconsin Card Sorting Task
    • Strengths - Robust activator of executive functioning
    • Weaknesses - Doesn't distinguish types of executive functioning or inform how they are organized in the brain
  8. Poldrack Multi-tasking Study
    • Task: Sorting a deck of cards into groups
    • Condition A - Task , no distractions
    • Condition B - Task while hearing and counting sounds of various pitches

    • Hippocampal Activity - greater for A
    • Striatal Activity - greater for A

    Formation of long-term memories and motor functioning better for A!
  9. Tests of Prefrontal Functioning
    • Task Switching
    • Novely Detection
    • Initiation/Cessation of Action
    • Inhibition
    • Self-Monitoring
    • Sequencing
    • Abstract Thinking
  10. Task Switching
    Perform two tasks (i.e. report the letter if the card is green, and the number if it is red)

    Switch Cost = (RT on Switch from last card) - (RT on No-Switch from last card)

    • Switch - Longer for normal subjects
    • Takes even longer for PFL patients
  11. Novelty Detection
    • Oddball task (press button for gray circles (targets))
    • P3b - Parietal lobe - appears for response to targets
    • P3a - Frontal lobe - exhibited for task-irrelevant, rare (novel) items - doesn't show up for PFL patients
  12. Initiation/Cessation of Action
    • Psychological inertia: Difficult to initiate an action and difficult stopping it (perservation)
    • Perservation: Tendency to repeatedly perform the same behavioral response even when no longer appropriate

    Seen in Wisconsin Card Sorting
  13. Environmental Dependency Syndrome
    • Behavior is driven by environmental cues
    • Can't help but engage in schemas (can't override it)
  14. Inhibition
    • Tied with inferior frontal cortex
    • Go/No-Go Task -- either respond or withhold response
  15. Self-Monitoring
    • Evaluation of the appropriateness of one's actions and plans
    • Error-Related Negativity
  16. Error-Related Negativity
    • Tapping into brain-basis of self-monitoring, and hence indexes it
    • But may index an emotional, not just a cognitive, reaction
    • 100-150ms after a response
    • Tied to person thinking they made an error
    • Greater when accuracy is emphasized (as opposed to speed)
    • Greater the larger the error
    • Dipole Modeling - ERN generated in the Anterior Cingulate Cortex
  17. Sequencing
    • A very specific process that may be damaged with frontal damage
    • Damage patients - poor at determining which item appeared more recently
    • Difficulties even when patient determines the order
  18. Theory of Action Disorganization
    Behaviour of frontal patients reflects the functioning of contention scheduling in the absence of supervisory attention
Card Set:
PSY605: Executive Control
2011-03-28 19:31:35
Cognitive Neuroscience Executive Control

Chapter 13: Cognitive Control
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