On how high performers keep cool brains in situations of cognitive overload

Jaeggi, Susanne; Buschkuehl, Martin; Etienne, Alex; Ozdoba, Christoph; Perrig, Walter J.; Nirkko, Arto (2007). On how high performers keep cool brains in situations of cognitive overload. Cognitive, affective & behavioral neuroscience, 7(2), pp. 75-89. Austin, Tex.: Psychonomic Society 10.3758/CABN.7.2.75

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What happens in the brain when we reach or exceed our capacity limits? Are there individual differences for performance at capacity limits? We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the impact of increases in processing demand on selected cortical areas when participants performed a parametrically varied and challenging dual task. Low-performing participants respond with large and load-dependent activation increases in many cortical areas when exposed to excessive task requirements, accompanied by decreasing performance. It seems that these participants recruit additional attentional and strategy-related resources with increasing difficulty, which are either not relevant or even detrimental to performance. In contrast, the brains of the high-performing participants "keep cool" in terms of activation changes, despite continuous correct performance, reflecting different and more efficient processing. These findings shed light on the differential implications of performance on activation patterns and underline the importance of the interindividual-differences approach in neuroimaging research.

Item Type: Journal Article (Original Article)
Division/Institute: 07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Experimental Psychology and Neuropsychology
UniBE Contributor: Jäggi, Susanne; Buschkühl, Martin; Etienne, Alex and Perrig, Walter
ISSN: 1530-7026
Publisher: Psychonomic Society
Language: English
Submitter: Factscience Import
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2013 15:01
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2014 15:59
Publisher DOI: 10.3758/CABN.7.2.75
Web of Science ID: 000247358900001
URI: http://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/26204 (FactScience: 66945)

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