Abstract

Cognitive control can be adaptive along several dimensions, including intensity (how intensely do control signals influence bottom–up processing) and selectivity (what information is selected for further processing). Furthermore, control can be exerted along slow or fast time scales. Whereas control on a slow time scale is used to proactively prepare for upcoming challenges, control can also be used on a faster time scale to react to unexpected events that require control. Importantly, a systematic comparison of these dimensions and time scales remains lacking. Moreover, most current models of adaptive control allow predictions only at a behavioral, not neurophysiological, level, thus seriously reducing the range of available empirical restrictions for informing model formulation. The current article addresses this issue by implementing a control loop in an earlier model of neural synchrony. The resulting model is tested on a Stroop task. We observe that only the model that exerts cognitive control on intensity and selectivity dimensions, as well as on two time scales, can account for relevant behavioral and neurophysiological data. Our findings hold important implications for both cognitive control and how computational models can be empirically constrained.

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