Re-Examining the Role of the Default Network During Controlled Processing
Lam, Jaeger Man-Ho
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Activation of the default network (DN) during externally-directed cognitive control tasks has been associated with off-task behaviors and poor task performance. Recently, evidence has suggested that DN activation may be associated with better cognitive control when access to stored representational knowledge, a putative DN function, is congruent with task goals (Spreng et al., 2014). Near-ceiling behavioral performance in this earlier study precluded analysis of incorrect trials. We address this limitation by increasing cognitive control demands. Healthy young adults (N=28) were scanned using fMRI while performing a working memory task. Famous and anonymous face stimuli were used to contrast high versus low access to stored representational knowledge, respectively. Differential DN activation was observed during correct and incorrect trials when famous faces were goal-relevant, or distractors. These results provide further evidence that the DN is not a task negative network, but can support cognitive control when access to stored representations is goal-congruent.