Involvement of the anterior cingulate cortex in time-based prospective memory task monitoring: An EEG analysis of brain sources using independent component and measure projection analysis

Cruz, G., Burgos, P., Kilborn, K. and Evans, J. J. (2017) Involvement of the anterior cingulate cortex in time-based prospective memory task monitoring: An EEG analysis of brain sources using independent component and measure projection analysis. PLoS ONE, 12(9), e0184037. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0184037) (PMID:28863146) (PMCID:PMC5581172)

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Abstract

Objective: Time-based prospective memory (PM), remembering to do something at a particular moment in the future, is considered to depend upon self-initiated strategic monitoring, involving a retrieval mode (sustained maintenance of the intention) plus target checking (intermittent time checks). The present experiment was designed to explore what brain regions and brain activity are associated with these components of strategic monitoring in time-based PM tasks. Method: 24 participants were asked to reset a clock every four minutes, while performing a foreground ongoing word categorisation task. EEG activity was recorded and data were decomposed into source-resolved activity using Independent Component Analysis. Common brain regions across participants, associated with retrieval mode and target checking, were found using Measure Projection Analysis. Results: Participants decreased their performance on the ongoing task when concurrently performed with the time-based PM task, reflecting an active retrieval mode that relied on withdrawal of limited resources from the ongoing task. Brain activity, with its source in or near the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), showed changes associated with an active retrieval mode including greater negative ERP deflections, decreased theta synchronization, and increased alpha suppression for events locked to the ongoing task while maintaining a time-based intention. Activity in the ACC was also associated with time-checks and found consistently across participants; however, we did not find an association with time perception processing per se. Conclusion: The involvement of the ACC in both aspects of time-based PM monitoring may be related to different functions that have been attributed to it: strategic control of attention during the retrieval mode (distributing attentional resources between the ongoing task and the timebased task) and anticipatory/decision making processing associated with clock-checks.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was funded by Comisión Nacional de Investigación Ciencia y Tecnología (CONICYT) - GC.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Evans, Professor Jonathan and Cruz, Ms Gabriela and Kilborn, Dr Kerry
Authors: Cruz, G., Burgos, P., Kilborn, K., and Evans, J. J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering
College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:PLoS ONE
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN:1932-6203
ISSN (Online):1932-6203
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 Cruz et al.
First Published:First published in PLoS ONE 12(9): e0184037
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

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