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Behavioral/Systems/Cognitive Anticipatory Activity in Anterior Cingulate Cortex Can Be
 

Summary: Behavioral/Systems/Cognitive
Anticipatory Activity in Anterior Cingulate Cortex Can Be
Independent of Conflict and Error Likelihood
Esther Aarts,1,2 Ardi Roelofs,1,2 and Miranda van Turennout1,3
1F. C. Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging, Radboud University Nijmegen, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands, and 2Nijmegen Institute for
Cognition and Information and 3Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, 6500 HE Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Previous studies have found no agreement on whether anticipatory activity in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) reflects upcoming
conflict,errorlikelihood,oractualcontroladjustments.Usingevent-relatedfunctionalmagneticresonanceimaging,weinvestigatedthe
nature of preparatory activity in the ACC. Informative cues told the participants whether an upcoming target would or would not involve
conflict in a Stroop-like task. Uninformative cues provided no such information. Behavioral responses were faster after informative than
afteruninformativecues,indicatingcue-basedadjustmentsincontrol.ACCactivitywaslargerafterinformativethanuninformativecues,
as would be expected if the ACC is involved in anticipatory control. Importantly, this activation in the ACC was observed for informative
cues even when the information conveyed by the cue was that the upcoming target evokes no response conflict and has low error
likelihood. This finding demonstrates that the ACC is involved in anticipatory control processes independent of upcoming response
conflict or error likelihood. Moreover, the response of the ACC to the target stimuli was critically dependent on whether the cue was
informative or not. ACC activity differed among target conditions after uninformative cues only, indicating ACC involvement in actual
control adjustments. Together, these findings argue strongly for a role of the ACC in anticipatory control independent of anticipated
conflictanderrorlikelihood,andalsoshowthatsuchcontrolcaneliminateconflict-relatedACCactivityduringtargetprocessing.Models
of frontal cortex conflict-detection and conflict-resolution mechanisms require modification to include consideration of these anticipa-
tory control properties of the ACC.

  

Source: Aarts, Esther - Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, University of California at Berkeley

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine