The prefrontal cortex supports our ability to regulate our thoughts, our behaviors, and our emotions. It undergoes major changes across the lifespan, and it is affected by numerous psychiatric and neurological conditions. Thus, it is no surprise that much of basic and translational neuroscience research is aimed at elucidating the functions of prefrontal cortex. For the past decade, this grant has supported our investigations of the left, ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC), in particular. For historical reasons-dating to Paul Broca's seminal report 150 years ago of speech disturbances following damage to this region-many researchers have theorized that the left VLPFC plays a specific role in language processing. In contrast, we have argued that VLPFC does not play a role specifically in the domain of language but rather is recruited under conditions in which demands to resolve conflict between competing, incompatible representations of a stimulus are high. These findings establish a role for the VLPFC that has much more in common with that proposed for other regions of prefrontal cortex than does any language-specific account, and they have helped to establish links between the processing demands that are shared across different cognitive domains (such as language and working memory). Over the next five-year period of the project, we will shift our approach in three significantly different ways. Specifically, (1) We aim to study the impact of cognitive control in domains not traditionally associated with the frontal lobes, namely event comprehension, metaphor processing, and learning~ (2) We aim to demonstrate the benefits and costs of cognitive control for cognition~ (3) We aim to develop analytic tools for measuring novel constructs related to cognitive control. We believe the proposed research stands to have a major and sustained impact on the field, as we extend both old (biased competition) and new (costs of cognitive control) ideas into a greater number of domains and into a greater number of neural systems.

Public Health Relevance

One of our most prized human faculties is our ability to control our thoughts, our emotions, and our behaviors, a collection of mental operations referred to as cognitive control. The goal of this project is to understand the benefits of cognitive control fo linguistic and nonlinguistic thinking, including event comprehension, metaphor processing, and learning~ in addition, we will also ask whether cognition without control is sometimes advantageous. We will combine cutting-edge brain imaging techniques in healthy volunteers with a systematic investigation of the consequences of alterations in cognitive control following chronic or transient changes to brain systems.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
2R01DC009209-11
Application #
8759162
Study Section
Cognition and Perception Study Section (CP)
Program Officer
Shekim, Lana O
Project Start
2002-12-02
Project End
2019-05-31
Budget Start
2014-06-01
Budget End
2015-05-31
Support Year
11
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
$476,223
Indirect Cost
$173,360
Name
University of Pennsylvania
Department
Psychology
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
042250712
City
Philadelphia
State
PA
Country
United States
Zip Code
19104
Betzel, Richard F; Gu, Shi; Medaglia, John D et al. (2016) Optimally controlling the human connectome: the role of network topology. Sci Rep 6:30770
Karuza, Elisabeth A; Thompson-Schill, Sharon L; Bassett, Danielle S (2016) Local Patterns to Global Architectures: Influences of Network Topology on Human Learning. Trends Cogn Sci 20:629-40
Zhang, Zitong; Telesford, Qawi K; Giusti, Chad et al. (2016) Choosing Wavelet Methods, Filters, and Lengths for Functional Brain Network Construction. PLoS One 11:e0157243
Muldoon, Sarah Feldt; Bridgeford, Eric W; Bassett, Danielle S (2016) Small-World Propensity and Weighted Brain Networks. Sci Rep 6:22057
Baldassano, Steven N; Bassett, Danielle S (2016) Topological distortion and reorganized modular structure of gut microbial co-occurrence networks in inflammatory bowel disease. Sci Rep 6:26087
Cole, Michael W; Ito, Takuya; Bassett, Danielle S et al. (2016) Activity flow over resting-state networks shapes cognitive task activations. Nat Neurosci 19:1718-1726
Nozari, Nazbanou; Trueswell, John C; Thompson-Schill, Sharon L (2016) The interplay of local attraction, context and domain-general cognitive control in activation and suppression of semantic distractors during sentence comprehension. Psychon Bull Rev 23:1942-1953
Giusti, Chad; Ghrist, Robert; Bassett, Danielle S (2016) Two's company, three (or more) is a simplex : Algebraic-topological tools for understanding higher-order structure in neural data. J Comput Neurosci 41:1-14
Nozari, Nazbanou; Mirman, Daniel; Thompson-Schill, Sharon L (2016) The ventrolateral prefrontal cortex facilitates processing of sentential context to locate referents. Brain Lang 157-158:1-13
Braun, Urs; Schäfer, Axel; Bassett, Danielle S et al. (2016) Dynamic brain network reconfiguration as a potential schizophrenia genetic risk mechanism modulated by NMDA receptor function. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 113:12568-12573

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