Mental effort is a common phenomenological construct deeply linked to volition and self-control. While it is often assumed that the amount of exertion invested in a task can be voluntarily regulated, the neural bases of such faculty and its behavioural effects are yet insufficiently understood. In this study, we investigated how the instructions to execute a demanding cognitive task either "with maximum exertion" or "as relaxed as possible" affected performance and brain activity. The maximum exertion condition, compared to relaxed execution, was associated with speeded motor responses without an accuracy trade-off, and an amplification of both task-related activations in dorsal frontoparietal and cerebellar regions, and task-related deactivations in default mode network (DMN) areas. Furthermore, the visual cue to engage maximum effort triggered an anticipatory widespread increase of activity in attentional, sensory and executive regions, with its peak in the brain stem reticular activating system. Across individuals, this surge of activity in the brain stem, but also in medial wall cortical regions projecting to the adrenal medulla, positively correlated with increases in heart rate, suggesting that the intention to willfully modulate invested effort involves mechanisms related to catecholaminergic transmission and a suppression of DMN activity in favor of externally-directed attentional processes.
Voluntary modulation of mental effort investment: An fMRI study / Khachouf, Omar T.; Chen, Gang; Duzzi, Davide; Porro, Carlo A.; Pagnoni, Giuseppe. - In: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS. - ISSN 2045-2322. - 7:1(2017), pp. 1-18.
|Data di pubblicazione:||2017|
|Data di prima pubblicazione:||8-dic-2017|
|Titolo:||Voluntary modulation of mental effort investment: An fMRI study|
|Autore/i:||Khachouf, Omar T.; Chen, Gang; Duzzi, Davide; Porro, Carlo A.; Pagnoni, Giuseppe|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-17519-3|
|Codice identificativo ISI:||WOS:000417461600001|
|Codice identificativo Scopus:||2-s2.0-85037620156|
|Codice identificativo Pubmed:||29222423|
|Citazione:||Voluntary modulation of mental effort investment: An fMRI study / Khachouf, Omar T.; Chen, Gang; Duzzi, Davide; Porro, Carlo A.; Pagnoni, Giuseppe. - In: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS. - ISSN 2045-2322. - 7:1(2017), pp. 1-18.|
|Tipologia||Articolo su rivista|
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