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Monitoring Multiple Deadlines Relies on Spatial Processing in Posterior Parietal Cortex
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany; Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Germany.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2908-2594
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI). Örebro University, Sweden.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Number of Authors: 42019 (English)In: Journal of cognitive neuroscience, ISSN 0898-929X, E-ISSN 1530-8898, Vol. 31, no 10, p. 1468-1483Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Proactively coordinating one's actions is an important aspect of multitasking performance due to overlapping task sequences. In this study, we used fMRI to investigate neural mechanisms underlying monitoring of multiple overlapping task sequences. We tested the hypothesis that temporal control demands in multiple-task monitoring are offloaded onto spatial processes by representing patterns of temporal deadlines in spatial terms. Results showed that increased demands on time monitoring (i.e., responding to concurrent deadlines of one to four component tasks) increasingly activated regions in the left inferior parietal lobe and the precuneus. Moreover, independent measures of spatial abilities correlated with multiple-task performance beyond the contribution of working memory. Together, these findings suggest that monitoring and coordination of temporally overlapping task timelines rely on cortical processes involved in spatial information processing. We suggest that the precuneus is involved in tracking of multiple task timelines, whereas the inferior parietal lobe constructs spatial representations of the temporal relations of these overlapping timelines. These findings are consistent with the spatial offloading hypothesis and add new insights into the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying the coordination of multiple tasks.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 31, no 10, p. 1468-1483
National Category
Psychology Neurology
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-175040DOI: 10.1162/jocn_a_01435ISI: 000483878500003PubMedID: 31210563OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-175040DiVA, id: diva2:1367577
Available from: 2019-11-04 Created: 2019-11-04 Last updated: 2019-12-09Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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