Bush G, Shin LM. The multi-source interference task: an fMRI task that reliably activates the cingulo-frontal-parietal cognitive/attention network. Nat Protoc 1: 308-313

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Nature Protocol (Impact Factor: 9.67). 02/2006; 1(1):308-13. DOI: 10.1038/nprot.2006.48
Source: PubMed


In this protocol we describe how to perform the Multi-Source Interference Task (MSIT), a validated functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) task that reliably and robustly activates the cingulo-frontal-parietal cognitive/attention network (CFP network) within individual subjects. The MSIT can be used to (i) identify the cognitive/attention network in normal volunteers and (ii) test its integrity in people with neuropsychiatric disorders. It is simple to perform, can be completed in less than 15 min and is not language specific, making it appropriate for children, adults and the elderly. Since its validation, over 100 adults have performed the task. The MSIT produces a robust and temporally stable reaction time interference effect (range 200-350 ms), and single runs of the MSIT have produced CFP network activation in approximately 95% of tested subjects. The robust, reliable and temporally stable neuroimaging and performance data make the MSIT a useful task with which to study normal human cognition and psychiatric pathophysiology.

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    • "The difference of RTs between both conditions for each participants (RT interference—RT control) was calculated as the interference effect (mean ± SD = 168.14 ± 43.26) [3]. In addition , the differences between control and interference conditions for RT and accuracy were assessed. "
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    ABSTRACT: Growing evidence has indicated a potential connection between resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (RS-fMRI) signal and cognitive performance. However, the relationship between intrinsic neural activity and behavioral interference effect on cognitive control has been poorly understood. In the present study, seventy-eight healthy subjects underwent RS-fMRI and performed Multi-Source Interference Task (MSIT). The fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (fALFF) was measured as an indicator of intrinsic brain activity. The difference in reaction times between interference and control conditions in MSIT was evaluated as interference effect. Then we examined the associations between fALFF and interference effect using partial correlation analysis controlling for age, gender and mean framewise displacement. The results demonstrated that fALFF values in orbital prefrontal cortex (OPFC) and right inferior frontal cortex (IFC) were negatively correlated with the interference effect in MSIT. The findings manifest that OPFC and right IFC may influence the processing efficiency of cognitive conflict and play a crucial role in cognitive control. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Behavioural brain research
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    • "To address this gap in knowledge, we designed a novel factorial experiment by integrating canonical CC and WM paradigms into a common task framework. CC manipulations were based on the multisource interference task (MSIT; Bush and Shin 2006), in which both stimulus-based (Flanker effect) and responsebased (Simon effect) CC is introduced, and prepotent response tendencies must be inhibited. WM demands were introduced using a verbal n-back WM paradigm (Kirchner 1958; Owen et al. 2005), which requires continual encoding, maintenance, and updating of WM representations. "
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    ABSTRACT: Cognitive control (CC) and working memory (WM) are concurrently necessary for adaptive human behavior. These processes are thought to rely on similar neural mechanisms, yet little is known of the potential competitive or cooperative brain dynamics that support their concurrent engagement during complex behavioral tasks. Here, statistical interactions (synergy/competition) and dependencies (correlations) in brain function related to CC and WM were measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Twenty-five healthy adults performed a novel factorial cognitive paradigm, in which a 2-back verbal WM task was combined with the multisource interference task. Overlapping main effects in neural activation were evident in all regions of the “cognitive control network,” together with robust behavioral main effects. However, no significant behavioral or cortical interaction effects were apparent. Conversely, robust positive correlations between the 2 main effects were evident within many components of the network. The results offer robust evidence that the neural representations of WM and CC are statistically dependent, but do not compete. These findings support the notion that CC and WM demands may be dynamically and flexibly encoded within a common brain network to support the efficient production of adaptive behavior across diverse task contexts.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Cerebral Cortex
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    • "2.2. fMRI task: MSIT-Emotion Cognitive control of emotional information was assessed with the MSIT-Emotion (Fig. 1), an adaptation of the MSIT, a standard cognitive control paradigm that combines the Flanker (Eriksen and Eriksen, 1974) and Simon (Simon and Berbaum, 1990) effects to robustly activate the cingulo–frontal–parietal cognitive control network within individual subjects (Bush and Shin, 2006). In the MSIT, subjects see sets of three numbers (1, 2, or 3) and report the identity of the number that differs from the other two. "
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    ABSTRACT: LPFC dysfunction is a well-established neural impairment in schizophrenia and is associated with worse symptoms. However, how LPFC activation influences symptoms is unclear. Previous findings in healthy individuals demonstrate that lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) activation during cognitive control of emotional information predicts mood and behavior in response to interpersonal conflict, thus impairments in these processes may contribute to symptom exacerbation in schizophrenia. We investigated whether schizophrenia participants show LPFC deficits during cognitive control of emotional information, and whether these LPFC deficits prospectively predict changes in mood and symptoms following real-world interpersonal conflict. During fMRI, 23 individuals with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder and 24 healthy controls completed the Multi-Source Interference Task superimposed on neutral and negative pictures. Afterwards, schizophrenia participants completed a 21-day online daily-diary in which they rated the extent to which they experienced mood and schizophrenia-spectrum symptoms, as well as the occurrence and response to interpersonal conflict. Schizophrenia participants had lower dorsal LPFC activity (BA9) during cognitive control of task-irrelevant negative emotional information. Within schizophrenia participants, DLPFC activity during cognitive control of emotional information predicted changes in positive and negative moods on days following highly distressing interpersonal conflicts. Results have implications for understanding the specific role of LPFC in response to social stress in schizophrenia, and suggest that treatments targeting LPFC-mediated cognitive control of emotion could promote adaptive response to social stress in schizophrenia.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Clinical neuroimaging
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