Poster F116, Tuesday, March 28, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Pacific Concourse
Integration and segregation of task-specific areas during task preparation
Laura Quante1,2, Daniel S. Kluger1,2, Ricarda I. Schubotz1,2,3; 1Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster, Germany, 2Otto Creutzfeldt Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience, Germany, 3University Hospital Cologne, Germany
Integration and segregation in global brain communication are necessary prerequisites for complex behavior. While segregation means that distributed areas work independently from one another and perform specialized functions, integration denotes a global coordinative coupling of functionally distinct brain regions. Using fMRI and measures of functional connectivity, the present study aimed to investigate the extent to which integration is modulated by the predictiveness of audiovisual input. Based on an initial cue, participants were asked to exploit only auditory, only visual, both auditory and visual, or neither of the information sources presented during a 12-second period to predict the target location in a subsequent visual search task. Crucially, predictability of the target location varied as a function of prior sensory information: exploiting both modalities allowed the most precise prediction of the target location, whereas target prediction was less precise if using visual or auditory information only. In case neither modality was cued to be useful, no target prediction was possible. Functional connectivity measures of integration were assessed at the global as well as at the individual node level. With respect to global connectivity patterns, the non-predictive condition showed least integration, as indicated by higher clustering and greater characteristic path length. At the nodal level, we found modality-specific areas to be more integrated whenever the respective information was predictive. In sum, our findings show that predictiveness of sensory information leads to an increase in integration at both the global and the nodal level, thus aiding preparation of behavior.
Topic Area: PERCEPTION & ACTION: Multisensory