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Short-term training in the Go/Nogo task: behavioural and neural changes depend on task demands

Short-term training in the Go/Nogo task: behavioural and neural changes depend on task demands
Short-term training in the Go/Nogo task: behavioural and neural changes depend on task demands
Neural activity underlying executive functions is subject to modulation as a result of increasing cognitive demands and practice. In the present study, we examined these modulatory effects by varying task difficulty, as manipulated by reaction time deadline (RTD), on inhibitory control during a single Go/Nogo training session (8 blocks; 70% Go). Sixty adults were randomly assigned to one of three task difficulty conditions: High (n=20), Medium (n=20) and Low (n=20), with RTDs of 300, 500 or 1000ms, respectively. Task performance, Event-related potentials (ERPs) and task-related arousal (indexed by skin conductance level) were examined for training effects. Results indicated that improvements in behavioural Go/Nogo proficiency were optimised during conditions of moderate rather than low or high inhibitory demands. An across-session increase in task-related arousal did not differ between conditions, indicating a generalised increase in the mobilisation of mental resources with time-on-task. In contrast, training-related changes in ERPs were dependent on task demands such that the Low task difficulty condition showed an enhanced centroparietal Nogo P2, while a training-induced augmentation in the Nogo>Go P3 effect was greater in the High than Medium condition. The High condition also showed the greatest reduction in the Nogo N1. Although further research is needed in this area, these findings implicate the potential key role of task difficulty in training inhibitory control and suggest that practice-related changes are reflected by qualitative changes in brain activity.
0167-8760
301-312
Benikos, Nicholas
fc863d81-18f4-4ee8-be13-185ad613189d
Johnstone, Stuart J.
0a0ca113-3204-4fd3-b9bb-26a0ec0b65f0
Roodenrys, Steven J.
3c20425e-2919-4766-be13-a31c3d77a503
Benikos, Nicholas
fc863d81-18f4-4ee8-be13-185ad613189d
Johnstone, Stuart J.
0a0ca113-3204-4fd3-b9bb-26a0ec0b65f0
Roodenrys, Steven J.
3c20425e-2919-4766-be13-a31c3d77a503

Benikos, Nicholas, Johnstone, Stuart J. and Roodenrys, Steven J. (2013) Short-term training in the Go/Nogo task: behavioural and neural changes depend on task demands International Journal of Psychophysiology, 87, (3), pp. 301-312. (doi:10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2012.12.001). (PMID:23247193).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Neural activity underlying executive functions is subject to modulation as a result of increasing cognitive demands and practice. In the present study, we examined these modulatory effects by varying task difficulty, as manipulated by reaction time deadline (RTD), on inhibitory control during a single Go/Nogo training session (8 blocks; 70% Go). Sixty adults were randomly assigned to one of three task difficulty conditions: High (n=20), Medium (n=20) and Low (n=20), with RTDs of 300, 500 or 1000ms, respectively. Task performance, Event-related potentials (ERPs) and task-related arousal (indexed by skin conductance level) were examined for training effects. Results indicated that improvements in behavioural Go/Nogo proficiency were optimised during conditions of moderate rather than low or high inhibitory demands. An across-session increase in task-related arousal did not differ between conditions, indicating a generalised increase in the mobilisation of mental resources with time-on-task. In contrast, training-related changes in ERPs were dependent on task demands such that the Low task difficulty condition showed an enhanced centroparietal Nogo P2, while a training-induced augmentation in the Nogo>Go P3 effect was greater in the High than Medium condition. The High condition also showed the greatest reduction in the Nogo N1. Although further research is needed in this area, these findings implicate the potential key role of task difficulty in training inhibitory control and suggest that practice-related changes are reflected by qualitative changes in brain activity.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 12 December 2012
Published date: March 2013
Organisations: Clinical Neuroscience

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 348033
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/348033
ISSN: 0167-8760
PURE UUID: 6fcdc955-0010-461c-a046-11218421f78b

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Date deposited: 06 Feb 2013 13:53
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 04:54

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Contributors

Author: Nicholas Benikos
Author: Stuart J. Johnstone
Author: Steven J. Roodenrys

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