DOI: 10.1101/481838Nov 28, 2018Paper

Brain network dynamics during spontaneous strategy shifts and incremental task optimization

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Michele AllegraCarlo Reverberi


With practice, humans may improve their performance in a task by either optimizing a known strategy or discovering a novel, potentially more fruitful strategy. How does the brain support these two fundamental abilities? In the present experiment, subjects performed a simple perceptual decision-making task. They could either use and progressively optimize an instructed strategy based on stimulus position, or spontaneously devise and then use a new strategy based on stimulus color. We investigated how local and long-range BOLD coherence behave during these two types of strategy learning by applying a recently developed unsupervised fMRI analysis technique that was specifically designed to probe the presence of transient correlations. Converging evidence showed that the posterior portion of the default network, i.e. the precuneus and the angular gyrus bilaterally, has a central role in the optimization of the current strategy: these regions encoded the relevant spatial information, increased the level of local coherence and the strength of connectivity with other relevant regions in the brain (e.g. visual cortex, dorsal attention network). This increase was proportional to the task optimization achieved by subjects, as measured by...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Cerebral Cortex
Decision Making
Spatial Distribution
Research Subject
Fronto-orbital Sulcus

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