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Brain Res Cogn Brain Res. 2005 Jul;24(2):237-51. Epub 2005 Mar 23.

Involvement of both prefrontal and inferior parietal cortex in dual-task performance.

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Department of Neuropsychology, University of Li├Ęge, Belgium.


This PET study explored the neural substrate of both dual-task management and integration task using single tasks that are known not to evoke any prefrontal activation. The paradigm included two simple (visual and auditory) discrimination tasks, a dual task and an integration task (requiring simultaneous visual and auditory discrimination), and baseline tasks (passive viewing and hearing). Data were analyzed using SPM99. As predicted, the comparison of each single task to the baseline task showed no activity in prefrontal areas. The comparison of the dual task to the single tasks demonstrated left-sided foci of activity in the frontal gyrus (BA 9/46, BA 10/47 and BA 6), inferior parietal gyrus (BA 40), and cerebellum. By reference to previous neuroimaging studies, BA 9/46 was associated with the coordinated manipulation of simultaneously presented information, BA 10/47 with selection processes, BA 6 with articulatory rehearsal, and BA 40 with attentional shifting. Globally similar regions were found for the integration task, except that the inferior parietal gyrus was not recruited. These results confirm the hypothesis that the left prefrontal cortex is implicated in dual-task performance. Moreover, the involvement of a parietal area in the dual task is in keeping with the hypothesis that a parieto-frontal network sustains executive functioning.

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