Cognitive flexibility and N2/P3 event-related brain potentials.

Kopp, Bruno; Steinke, Klaus; Visalli, Antonino

Task switching is often considered for evaluating limitations of cognitive flexibility. Switch costs are behavioural indices of limited cognitive flexibility, and switch costs may be decomposable into stimulus- and response-related fractions, as conjectured by the domain hypothesis of cognitive flexibility. According to the domain hypothesis, there exist separable stimulus- and response-related neural networks for cognitive flexibility, which should be discernible as distinct event-related potentials (ERPs). The present card-matching study allowed isolating stimulus- and response-related switch costs, while measuring ERPs evoked by task cues and target stimuli with a focus on the target-locked N2/P3 complex. Behavioural data revealed that both stimulus-task and response-task bindings contribute to switch costs. Cue-locked ERPs yielded larger anterior negativity/posterior positivity in response to switch cues compared to repeat cues. Target-locked ERPs revealed separable ERP correlates of stimulus- and response-related switch costs. P3 waveforms with fronto-central scalp distributions emerged as a corollary of stimulus-related switch costs. Fronto-centrally distributed N2 waveforms occurred when stimulus-task and response-task bindings contributed jointly to switch costs. The reported N2/P3 ERP data are commensurate with the domain hypothesis according to which there exist separable stimulus- and response-related neural networks for cognitive flexibility.

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Kopp, Bruno / Steinke, Alexander / Visalli, Antonino: Cognitive flexibility and N2/P3 event-related brain potentials.. 2020.

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