Discrepancy of neural response between exogenous and endogenous task switching: An event-related potentials study

Department of Psychiatry, Graduate School of Medicine, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan.
Neuroreport (Impact Factor: 1.52). 06/2012; 23(11):642-6. DOI: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e328354b066
Source: PubMed


Task switching is a well-known cognitive paradigm to explore task-set reconfiguration processes such as rule shifting. In particular, endogenous task switching is thought to differ qualitatively from stimulus-triggered exogenous task switching. However, no previous study has examined the neural substrate of endogenous task switching. The purpose of the present study is to explore the differences between event-related potential responses to exogenous and endogenous rule switching at cue stimulus. We modified two patterns of cued switching tasks: exogenous (bottom-up) rule switching and endogenous (top-down) rule switching. In each task cue stimulus was configured to induce switching or maintaining rule. In exogenous switching tasks, late positive deflection was larger in the switch rule condition than in the maintain rule condition. However, in endogenous switching tasks late positive deflection was unexpectedly larger in the maintain-rule condition than in the switch-rule condition. These results indicate that exogenous rule switching is explicit stimulus-driven processes, whereas endogenous rule switching is implicitly parallel processes independent of external stimulus.

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