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Poster A81

Gradients of Time, Action and Memory in Frontal, Parietal and Temporal Cortices Supporting Cognitive Control

Poster Session A - Saturday, April 13, 2024, 2:30 – 4:30 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

McKinney Pitts1 (, Derek Nee; 1Florida State University

Cognitive control describes a composite set of multifaceted processes that adaptively align intentional behaviors with internal goals and dynamic contexts. Cognitive control is supported by frontal and parietal areas, but how these areas contribute to cognitive control is poorly understood. Previously, we demonstrated that frontal and parietal areas are organized along a gradient wherein somatomotor proximal areas are sensitive to the present, while somatomotor distal areas are sensitive to the future (Nee, 2021, eLife). However, in that work, timescale (present/future) was confounded with focus (action/memory) as present-oriented control processes were also action-oriented, and future-oriented control processes were also memory-oriented. Here, we directly contrasted future/action-oriented processes (episodic control) with future/memory-oriented processes (temporal control), along with present/action-oriented processes (sensorimotor control). Gradients of control were observed in frontal, parietal, and previously undescribed lateral temporal cortices. Multidimensional scaling revealed that these areas could be explained by an abstraction gradient wherein areas at one end of the gradient were sensitive to action, regardless of timescale, while areas on the other end of the gradient were sensitive to the future regardless of focus. Interestingly, areas in the middle of the gradient conjunctively coded future action demonstrating non-linear, over-additive sensitivity to episodic control. We hypothesize that such conjunctive coding supports adaptive cognitive control that synthesizes processing at each end of the gradient to proactively prepare control for the future.

Topic Area: EXECUTIVE PROCESSES: Goal maintenance & switching


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April 13–16  |  2024