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Cortex. 2008 May;44(5):537-47. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2007.11.005. Epub 2007 Dec 23.

Switching between colors and shapes on the basis of positive and negative feedback: an fMRI and EEG study on feedback-based learning.

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Leiden University Institute for Psychological Research (LU-IPR), Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands.


A crucial element of testing hypotheses about rules for behavior is the use of performance feedback. In this study, we used fMRI and EEG to test the role of medial prefrontal cortex (PFC) and dorsolateral (DL) PFC in hypothesis testing using a modified intradimensional/extradimensional rule shift task. Eighteen adults were asked to infer rules about color or shape on the basis of positive and negative feedback in sets of two trials. Half of the trials involved color-to-color or shape-to-shape trials (intradimensional switches; ID) and the other half involved color-to-shape or shape-to-color trials (extradimensional switches; ED). Participants performed the task in separate fMRI and EEG sessions. ED trials were associated with reduced accuracy relative to ID trials. In addition, accuracy was reduced and response latencies increased following negative relative to positive feedback. Negative feedback resulted in increased activation in medial PFC and DLPFC, but more so for ED than ID shifts. Reduced accuracy following negative feedback correlated with increased activation in DLPFC, and increased response latencies following negative feedback correlated with increased activation in medial PFC. Additionally, around 250msec following negative performance feedback participants showed a feedback-related negative scalp potential, but this potential did not differ between ID and ED shifts. These results indicate that both medial PFC and DLPFC signal the need for performance adjustment, and both regions are sensitive to the increased demands of set shifting in hypothesis testing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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