Integrative frontal-parietal dynamics supporting cognitive control

  1. Derek Evan Nee  Is a corresponding author
  1. Florida State University, United States

Abstract

Coordinating among the demands of the external environment and internal plans requires cognitive control supported by a fronto-parietal control network (FPCN). Evidence suggests that multiple control systems span the FPCN whose operations are poorly understood. Previously (Nee and D'Esposito, 2016; 2017), we detailed frontal dynamics that support control processing, but left open their role in broader cortical function. Here, I show that the FPCN consists of an external/present-oriented to internal/future-oriented cortical gradient extending outwardly from sensory-motor cortices. Areas at the ends of this gradient act in a segregative manner, exciting areas at the same level, but suppressing areas at different levels. By contrast, areas in the middle of the gradient excite areas at all levels, promoting integration of control processing. Individual differences in integrative dynamics predict higher-level cognitive ability and amenability to neuromodulation. These data suggest that an intermediary zone within the FPCN underlies integrative processing that supports cognitive control.

Data availability

All data and code needed to reproduce the figures in this report can be found at https://osf.io/938dx/.

The following data sets were generated
    1. Derek Nee
    (2020) PFC-PPC Integration
    Open Science Framework, 938dx.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Derek Evan Nee

    Department of Psychology, Florida State University, Tallahassee, United States
    For correspondence
    derek.evan.nee@gmail.com
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-7858-6871

Funding

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (F32 NS0802069)

  • Derek Evan Nee

National Institute of Mental Health (R01 MH121509)

  • Derek Evan Nee

Florida State University (COFRS 0000034175)

  • Derek Evan Nee

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Ethics

Human subjects: Informed consent was obtained in accordance with the Committee for Protection of Human Subjects at the University of California, Berkeley (2010-04-1314, 2010-02-781).

Reviewing Editor

  1. Daeyeol Lee, Johns Hopkins University, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: March 30, 2020
  2. Accepted: March 1, 2021
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: March 2, 2021 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: March 16, 2021 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2021, Nee

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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  1. Derek Evan Nee
(2021)
Integrative frontal-parietal dynamics supporting cognitive control
eLife 10:e57244.
https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.57244

Further reading

    1. Neuroscience
    Derek Evan Nee, Mark D'Esposito
    Research Article

    Higher-level cognition depends on the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC), but its functional organization has remained elusive. An influential proposal is that the LPFC is organized hierarchically whereby progressively rostral areas of the LPFC process/represent increasingly abstract information facilitating efficient and flexible cognition. However, support for this theory has been limited. Here, human fMRI data revealed rostral/caudal gradients of abstraction in the LPFC. Dynamic causal modeling revealed asymmetrical LPFC interactions indicative of hierarchical processing. Contrary to dominant assumptions, the relative strength of efferent versus afferent connections positioned mid LPFC as the apex of the hierarchy. Furthermore, cognitive demands induced connectivity modulations towards mid LPFC consistent with a role in integrating information for control operations. Moreover, the strengths of these dynamics were related to trait-measured higher-level cognitive ability. Collectively, these results suggest that the LPFC is hierarchically organized with the mid LPFC positioned to synthesize abstract and concrete information to control behavior.

    1. Computational and Systems Biology
    2. Neuroscience
    Maryam H Mofrad et al.
    Tools and Resources

    Sleep is generally considered to be a state of large-scale synchrony across thalamus and neocortex; however, recent work has challenged this idea by reporting isolated sleep rhythms such as slow oscillations and spindles. What is the spatial scale of sleep rhythms? To answer this question, we adapted deep learning algorithms initially developed for detecting earthquakes and gravitational waves in high-noise settings for analysis of neural recordings in sleep. We then studied sleep spindles in non-human primate electrocorticography (ECoG), human electroencephalogram (EEG), and clinical intracranial electroencephalogram (iEEG) recordings in the human. Within each recording type, we find widespread spindles occur much more frequently than previously reported. We then analyzed the spatiotemporal patterns of these large-scale, multi-area spindles and, in the EEG recordings, how spindle patterns change following a visual memory task. Our results reveal a potential role for widespread, multi-area spindles in consolidation of memories in networks widely distributed across primate cortex.