Increased flanker task and forward digit span performance in caudate-nucleus-dependent response strategies.

TitleIncreased flanker task and forward digit span performance in caudate-nucleus-dependent response strategies.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsAumont É, Arguin M, Bohbot VD, West GL
JournalBrain Cogn
Volume135
Pagination103576
Date Published2019 Jun 13
ISSN1090-2147
Abstract

One of two memory systems can be used to navigate in a new environment. Hippocampus-dependent spatial strategy consists of creating a cognitive map of an environment and caudate nucleus-dependent response strategy consists of memorizing a rigid sequence of turns. Spontaneous use of the response strategy is associated with greater activity and grey matter within the caudate nucleus while the spatial strategy is associated with greater activity and grey matter in the hippocampus. The caudate nucleus is involved in executive functions such as working memory, cognitive control and certain aspects of attention such as attentional disengaging. This study therefore aimed to investigate whether response learners would display better performance on tests of executive and attention functioning compared to spatial learners. Fifty participants completed the 4/8 virtual maze to assess navigational strategy, the forward and backward visual digit span and the Attention Network Test - Revised to assess both attention disengagement and cognitive control. Results revealed that response learners showed significantly higher working memory capacity, more efficient attention disengagement and better cognitive control. Results suggest that response learners, who putatively display more grey matter and activity in the caudate nucleus, are associated with better working memory span, cognitive control and attentional disengagement.

DOI10.1016/j.bandc.2019.05.014
Alternate JournalBrain Cogn
PubMed ID31203022