Executive control involves concentrating on one task without losing the ability to switch to a second task at will. We studied this ability in monkeys (Macaca mulatta) performing arbitrary stimulus-response mappings in a task-switching paradigm. We found relatively low switch costs but high task interference costs. This is the reverse of the typical human pattern of relatively large switch costs and small interference costs. This difference in the behavior of the two species may reflect anatomical differences in the sizes of the prefrontal and parietal cortices. These results indicate that monkeys are an excellent model for some but not all aspects of human task-switching.
- Executive control