Prompting future events: Effects of temporal cueing and time on task on brain preparation to action

Marika Berchicci, Valentina Sulpizio, Giovanni Mento, Giuliana Lucci, Nicole Civale, Gaspare Galati, Sabrina Pitzalis, Donatella Spinelli, Francesco Di Russo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Prediction about event timing plays a leading role in organizing and optimizing behavior. We recorded anticipatory brain activities and evaluated whether temporal orienting processes are reflected by the novel prefrontal negative (pN) component, as already shown for the contingent negative variation (CNV). Fourteen young healthy participants underwent EEG and fMRI recordings in separate sessions; they were asked to perform a Go/No-Go task in which temporal orienting was manipulated: the external condition (a visual display indicating the time of stimulus onset) and the internal condition (time information not provided). In both conditions, the source of the pN was localized in the pars opercularis of the iFg; the source of the CNV was localized in the supplementary motor area and cingulate motor area, as expected. Anticipatory activity was also found in the occipital-parietal cortex. Time on task EEG analysis showed a marked learning effect in the internal condition, while the effect was minor in the external condition. In fMRI, the two conditions had a similar pattern; similarities and differences of results obtained with the two techniques are discussed. Overall, data are consistent with the view that the pN reflects a proactive cognitive control, including temporal orienting.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105565
JournalBrain and Cognition
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • EEG
  • fMRI
  • Go/No-go
  • Prefrontal cortex
  • Proactive control
  • Timing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Prompting future events: Effects of temporal cueing and time on task on brain preparation to action'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this