A Core System for the Implementation of Task Sets

Nico U.F. Dosenbach, Kristina M. Visscher, Erica D. Palmer, Francis M. Miezin, Kristin K. Wenger, Hyunseon C. Kang, E. Darcy Burgund, Ansley L. Grimes, Bradley L. Schlaggar, Steven E. Petersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1243 Scopus citations

Abstract

When performing tasks, humans are thought to adopt task sets that configure moment-to-moment data processing. Recently developed mixed blocked/event-related designs allow task set-related signals to be extracted in fMRI experiments, including activity related to cues that signal the beginning of a task block, "set-maintenance" activity sustained for the duration of a task block, and event-related signals for different trial types. Data were conjointly analyzed from mixed design experiments using ten different tasks and 183 subjects. Dorsal anterior cingulate cortex/medial superior frontal cortex (dACC/msFC) and bilateral anterior insula/frontal operculum (aI/fO) showed reliable start-cue and sustained activations across all or nearly all tasks. These regions also carried the most reliable error-related signals in a subset of tasks, suggesting that the regions form a "core" task-set system. Prefrontal regions commonly related to task control carried task-set signals in a smaller subset of tasks and lacked convergence across signal types.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)799-812
Number of pages14
JournalNeuron
Volume50
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2006

Keywords

  • SYSNEURO

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