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Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience (2013) 25 (7): 1136–1147.
Published: 01 July 2013
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AbstractView article PDF
Previous research has highlighted brain regions associated with socioemotional processes in persuasive message encoding, whereas cognitive models of persuasion suggest that executive brain areas may also be important. The current study aimed to identify lateral prefrontal brain areas associated with persuasive message viewing and understand how activity in these executive regions might interact with activity in the amygdala and medial pFC. Seventy adolescents were scanned using fMRI while they watched 10 strongly convincing antidrug public service announcements (PSAs), 10 weakly convincing antidrug PSAs, and 10 advertisements (ads) unrelated to drugs. Antidrug PSAs compared with nondrug ads more strongly elicited arousal-related activity in the amygdala and medial pFC. Within antidrug PSAs, those that were prerated as strongly persuasive versus weakly persuasive showed significant differences in arousal-related activity in executive processing areas of the lateral pFC. In support of the notion that persuasiveness involves both affective and executive processes, functional connectivity analyses showed greater coactivation between the lateral pFC and amygdala during PSAs known to be strongly (vs. weakly) convincing. These findings demonstrate that persuasive messages elicit activation in brain regions responsible for both emotional arousal and executive control and represent a crucial step toward a better understanding of the neural processes responsible for persuasion and subsequent behavior change.
Effects of Varying the Experimental Design of a Cognitive Control Paradigm on Behavioral and Functional Imaging Outcome Measures
Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience (2008) 20 (1): 20–35.
Published: 01 January 2008
AbstractView article PDF
A number of experimental techniques are commonly used within the field of functional neuroimaging to measure successive cognitive processes within a single trial. This study evaluated three experimental techniques to assess the comparability of behavioral and functional outcome measures in a task involving higher-level cognitive processing while controlling for the task duration. Twelve participants completed a cognitive control paradigm using the three techniques. Each trial of the task consisted of a green or red cue followed by a “Left” or “Right” probe. Green cues indicated that participants should respond in the direction of the probe. Red cues indicated participants should overcome their automatic tendency and respond in the direction opposite to the probe. The “slow” technique involved a sufficiently long trial allowing the blood oxygenation level-dependent response to rise and return to baseline before the next trial. The “jitter” technique involved varying the interstimulus and intertrial intervals. The “catch” technique involved presenting some cue-only trials in the midst of cue-probe trials. Predicted brain regions were activated by all the experimental techniques combined including the middle frontal, anterior cingulate, and inferior parietal cortices. Although there were more commonalties than differences between the three experimental techniques, generally, it appeared that the slow technique was effective at detecting posterior activity; the jitter technique was effective at detecting probe-related activity; and the catch technique was effective at detecting cue-related activity, especially in prefrontal regions. Thus, experiments measuring successive cognitive processes may have differential detection power for every event in a trial.
Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience (2000) 12 (6): 977–987.
Published: 01 November 2000
AbstractView article PDF
Event-related fMRI was used to dissociate the neural systems involved in category learning with and without awareness. Ten subjects performed a speeded response category learning task. Functional MR images were acquired during both explicit and implicit learning conditions. Behavioral data showed evidence of learning in both conditions. Functional imaging data showed different activation patterns in implicit and explicit trials. Decreased activation in extrastriate region V3 was found with implicit learning, and increased activation in V3, the medial temporal lobe, and frontal regions were found with explicit learning. These results support the theory that implicit and explicit learning utilize dissociable neural systems. Moreover, in both the implicit and explicit conditions a similar pattern of decreased activation was found in parietal regions. This commonality suggests that these dissociable systems also operate in parallel.