Poster D29, Monday, March 26, 8:00-10:00 am, Exhibit Hall C
Connectivity Patterns in Hierarchical Cascade of Prefrontal Networks Predict Multitasking Ability
Tanya Wen1,2, De-Cyuan Liu3, Shulan Hsieh4; 1Medical Research Council, 2University of Cambridge, 3Asia University, 4National Cheng Kung University
Multitasking is a fundamental aspect of everyday life activities. During multitasking, a range of tasks are performed within a time period, and requires interleaving between different tasks while keeping the current progress in working memory. To achieve these task goals, the tasks must be subdivided into sub-tasks and executional steps, a critical function in the hierarchy of prefrontal networks. The prefrontal cortex is considered to be organized in a cascade of executive processes from the sensorimotor to anterior prefrontal cortex, which includes execution of specific goal-directed action, to encoding and maintaining task rules, and finally monitoring distal goals. In the current study, we used a virtual multitasking paradigm to tap into real-world performance and relate it to each individual’s resting-state functional connectivity in fMRI. Our results show a positive trend of global network functional connectivity strength related to task performance in the frontoparietal network (FPN) that, however, did not reach significance. In contrast, multivariate connectivity patterns showed that within-network connectivity in the sensorimotor network (SMN) and between-network connectivity of the FPN and dorsal attention network (DAN) predicted individual multitasking ability and could be generalized to novel individuals. Together, these results support previous research that prefrontal networks underlie multitasking abilities and show that connectivity patterns in the cascade of prefrontal networks may explain individual differences in performance.
Topic Area: EXECUTIVE PROCESSES: Goal maintenance & switching