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Rate dependency of the human cortical network subserving executive functions during generation of random number series – a functional magnetic resonance imaging study

Authors
Journal
Neuroscience Letters
0304-3940
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
345
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/s0304-3940(03)00496-8
Keywords
  • Executive Functions
  • Random Number Generation
  • Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Rate Dependency
  • Cortical Network
  • Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex
Disciplines
  • Law

Abstract

Abstract In a random number generation (RNG) task subjects are instructed to generate the numbers 1–10 in a random fashion. RNG performance is assumed to involve executive functions, as it requires controlled response generation and suppression of habitual responses. To investigate cerebral structures involved in RNG associated executive functions we investigated functional magnetic resonance imaging in eight healthy subjects while performing an RNG task at two different response rates (1 and 2 Hz). During the 1 Hz condition an activation was detected bilaterally in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (BA 9/46), the lateral premotor cortex (BA 6), the anterior cingulate (BA 32), the inferior and superior parietal cortex (BA 7/40) and the cerebellar hemispheres. In the 2 Hz condition behavioural data showed higher counting tendencies reflecting poorer executive control. In parallel, a homogenous diminution of the activity in the involved cortical areas was obtained. This finding would support the theory of a cortical network involved in executive functions consisting of distinct brain regions working together rather than a distinct fronto-cortical functional localisation.

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