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An event-related functional MRI study comparing interference effects in the Simon and Stroop tasks.

The Stroop and Simon tasks typify a class of interference effects in which the introduction of task-irrelevant stimulus characteristics robustly slows reaction times. Behavioral studies have not succeeded in determining whether the neural basis for the resolution of these interference effects during successful task performance is similar or different across tasks. Event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies were obtained in 10 healthy young adults during performance of the Stroop and Simon tasks. Activation during the Stroop task replicated findings from two earlier fMRI studies. These activations were remarkably similar to those observed during the Simon task, and included anterior cingulate, supplementary motor, visual association, inferior temporal, inferior parietal, inferior frontal, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices, as well as the caudate nuclei. The time courses of activation were also similar across tasks. Resolution of interference effects in the Simon and Stroop tasks engage similar brain regions, and with a similar time course. Therefore, despite the widely differing stimulus characteristics employed by these tasks, the neural systems that subserve successful task performance are likely to be similar as well.

Pubmed ID: 11919006

Authors

  • Peterson BS
  • Kane MJ
  • Alexander GM
  • Lacadie C
  • Skudlarski P
  • Leung HC
  • May J
  • Gore JC

Journal

Brain research. Cognitive brain research

Publication Data

May 28, 2002

Associated Grants

  • Agency: NIMH NIH HHS, Id: MH01232
  • Agency: NIMH NIH HHS, Id: MH59139

Mesh Terms

  • Adult
  • Brain
  • Brain Mapping
  • Caudate Nucleus
  • Cognition
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe
  • Gyrus Cinguli
  • Humans
  • Learning
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Motor Cortex
  • Parietal Lobe
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Reaction Time
  • Temporal Lobe
  • Visual Cortex