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Frontoparietal activity with minimal decision and control
Hon, N., Epstein, R.A., OWEN, A.M. & DUNCAN, J.
Journal of Neuroscience, 26(38), 9805-9809.
Year of publication:
In the human brain, a well-known frontoparietal circuit - including lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC), pre-supplementary motor area/anterior cingulate cortex (pre-SMA/ACC), and both superior and inferior parietal cortex - is involved in cognitive control. One proposal is that frontoparietal cortex holds a flexible description of attended or task-relevant information, biasing processing in favor of this information in many different parts of the brain. Here we separate frontoparietal coding of attended information from its active use in behavior. In two experiments, subjects watch a stream of visual stimuli in a fixed location. In the first experiment, there is no task to carry out; in the second, decisions are orthogonal to the occurrence of new stimulus events. Even in these simple circumstances, we find that attended stimulus changes give extensive activation of LPFC, pre-SMA/ACC and parietal cortex, while unattended changes do not. Even without behavior to control, these classical "control" regions are active in simple update of attended information.