Electrophysiological indices of interference resolution covary with individual fluid intelligence: Investigating reactive control processes in a 3-back working memory task

Bernardo Perfetti, Sara Varanese, Elisa Mancino, Pasqua Mercuri, Marcello Tesse, Raffaella Franciotti, Laura Bonanni, Astrid Thomas, Marco Onofrj

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

It has been proposed that the well-established relationship between working memory (WM) and fluid intelligence (gf) is mediated by executive mechanisms underlying interference control. The latter relies upon the integrity of a frontoparietal brain network, whose activity is modulated by general cognition. In regards to the chronology of this activation, only few EEG studies investigated the topic, although none of them examined the regional interaction or the effects of individual differences in gf. The current investigation sought at extending previous research by characterizing the EEG markers (temporal activation and regional coupling) of interference control and the effects of the individual variation in gf. To this end, we recorded the EEG activity of 33 participants while performing verbal and spatial versions of a 3-back WM task. In a separate session, participants were administered with a test of fluid intelligence. Interference-inducing trials were associated with an increased negativity in the frontal scalp region occurring in two separate time windows and probably reflecting two different stages of the underlying cognitive process. In addition, we found that scalp distribution of such activity differed among individuals, being the strongest activation of the left and right frontolateral sites related to high gf level. Finally, high- and low-gf participants showed different patterns in the modulation of regional connectivity (electrodes coherence in the range of 4.5-7.5. Hz) according to changes in attention load among types of trials. Our findings suggest that high-gf participants may rely upon effective engagement and modulation of attention resources to face interference.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-153
Number of pages8
JournalNeuroImage
Volume93
Issue numberP1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Attention
  • Cognition
  • Cortical synchronization
  • Evoked potentials
  • Executive function
  • Problem solving

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neurology
  • Medicine(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Electrophysiological indices of interference resolution covary with individual fluid intelligence: Investigating reactive control processes in a 3-back working memory task'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this