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PSYC 251 Final: Chapter 13 (Test 3 Notes)

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PSYC 251
Adam Krawitz

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Chapter 13: Executive Function Executive function is about guiding and coordinating perception, action, attention, long-term memory, language, decision-making, and emotion in service to our plans and goals. - It is cognitive control, emotional control, executive control, and even self-control. - Problem: what are we trying to achieve, and how should we go about achieving it? - Importance: To free us from the tyranny of the present, and act with regard to the future. - Challenge: What to focus on, and when to switch? Wisconsin Card Sorting Task (WCST): Participants were asked to sort cards into 4 different decks (based on colour, pattern, etc); figure out what the rule is based on feedback. After awhile the rule changes without indication. - Working memory maintenance: Which rules have I already tried? (DLPFC) - Working memory updating: remember that I just tried colour (BASAL GANGLIA) - Inhibition of prepotent actions: Don’t sort by a rule that I’m used to using (DLPFC) - Shifting between rules, sets, and tasks: Try each rule in turn until finding one that works (DLPFC) - Monitoring and adjusting performance: Detect when a rule is no longer working & respond (ACC) Brain basis of executive function: Prefrontal cortex - With lesions to the prefrontal cortex, patients exhibit:  Perseveration - repetition of a particular response; in the WCST: stick to a rule when it is no longer working. Failure of monitoring, updating, shifting  Impulsiveness - Inability to stay focused on the current task set; in the WCST: jumping between rules in a disorganized way. Failure of maintenance, inhibition Occulomotor delayed response task: performed by monkeys; single-cell recordings on neurons in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) - Fixated on a central point; were given a visual cue in another location in the frame. When the visual cue dissapeared, monkeys were supposed to move their eyes to where the visual cue had been. - Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex neurons are involved in working memory maintenance:  Have delay period activity  Are directionally tuned  Firing lasts for duration of delay  Activity (firing or not firing) predicts memory performance  Damage to specific neurons impairs short-term memory for corresponding locations - Strong evidence that DLPFC neurons support maintenance of short-term memories for spatial locations as sustained firing in delayed response tasks. Stroop Effect: When colour words and ink colours conflict, colour words are much harder to ignore than the ink colours. - Easy/fast: read colour word (RED or GREEN) or ready colour word (RED or GREEN) - Pretty easy/medium fast: name ink colour (XXXX or XXXXX) - Hard/slow: Name ink colour (RED or GREEN) - Why does this occur?  More practice with word reading than colour naming; overcome by inhibition of prepotent responses  DLPFC is involved in inhibition of prepotent responses: Goal representations maintained in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex provide top-down biasing of perceptual motor-mappings.  Working memory provides the signal & inhibition is the effect. Eriksen Flanker Task: Respond to the central letter
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