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Department of Cognitive Science

Multiple sources underlie ERP indices of task-switching

Sharna Jamadar (
Alexander Provost (
W. Ross Fulham (
Patricia T. Michie (
Frini Karayanidis (
Centre for Brain & Mental Health Research, University of Newcastle, Callaghan


Previous investigations of task-switching have reported that cue-related processes are indexed by a differential switch positivity (D-Pos) and that stimulus-related processes are indexed by a differential switch-negativity (D-Neg). The aim of the current study was to use low resolution electromagnetic tomography to localize the sources of D-Pos and D-Neg. Participants switched randomly between simple tasks and showed an increase in reaction time (RT) for switch relative to repeat trials, i.e., an RT switch cost. ERP waveforms showed a D-Pos in the cue-related interval and a D-Neg in the stimulus-related interval. D-Pos was localized to the superior parietal cortex, supporting arguments that D-Pos is associated with activating task rules during anticipatory reconfiguration. D-Neg was localized to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, implicating D-Neg in post-stimulus control.

Citation details for this article:

Jamadar, S., Provost, A., Fulham, W., Michie, P., Karayanidis, F. (2010). Multiple Sources Underlie ERP Indices of Task-Switching. In W. Christensen, E. Schier, and J. Sutton (Eds.), ASCS09: Proceedings of the 9th Conference of the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science (pp. 154-161). Sydney: Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science.

DOI: 10.5096/ASCS200924
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