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A core system for the implementation of task sets.

When performing tasks, humans are thought to adopt task sets that configure moment-to-moment data processing. Recently developed mixed blocked/event-related designs allow task set-related signals to be extracted in fMRI experiments, including activity related to cues that signal the beginning of a task block, "set-maintenance" activity sustained for the duration of a task block, and event-related signals for different trial types. Data were conjointly analyzed from mixed design experiments using ten different tasks and 183 subjects. Dorsal anterior cingulate cortex/medial superior frontal cortex (dACC/msFC) and bilateral anterior insula/frontal operculum (aI/fO) showed reliable start-cue and sustained activations across all or nearly all tasks. These regions also carried the most reliable error-related signals in a subset of tasks, suggesting that the regions form a "core" task-set system. Prefrontal regions commonly related to task control carried task-set signals in a smaller subset of tasks and lacked convergence across signal types.

Pubmed ID: 16731517


  • Dosenbach NU
  • Visscher KM
  • Palmer ED
  • Miezin FM
  • Wenger KK
  • Kang HC
  • Burgund ED
  • Grimes AL
  • Schlaggar BL
  • Petersen SE



Publication Data

June 1, 2006

Associated Grants

  • Agency: NINDS NIH HHS, Id: NS41255
  • Agency: NINDS NIH HHS, Id: NS46424
  • Agency: NINDS NIH HHS, Id: R01 NS046424
  • Agency: NINDS NIH HHS, Id: R21 NS041255

Mesh Terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Cortex
  • Evoked Potentials
  • Frontal Lobe
  • Gyrus Cinguli
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Mental Processes
  • Parietal Lobe