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The role of automaticity in the cognitive control of human action: A magnetoencephalographic study.

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  • Author(s): Isabella, Silvia. University of Toronto (Canada), Medical Science, Canada
  • Source:
    Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, Vol 82(1-B), 2021.
  • Publisher:
    US : ProQuest Information & Learning
  • Language:
    English
  • Document Type:
    Dissertation
  • Publication Type:
    Dissertation Abstract
  • Additional Information
    • Other Journal Titles:
      Dissertation Abstracts International
    • ISSN:
      0419-4217 (Print)
    • ISBN:
      979-8662393318
    • Keywords:
      cognitive control, human action, magnetoencephalogy, conscious processes
    • Abstract:
      Prominent theories on human action control propose two parallel brain processes: one fast and automatic, the other slow and deliberative. The slow, conscious processes are thought to be mediated by frontal theta (4-8 Hz) oscillations. One theory suggests that theta acts as an alarm signaling the need for control, and that frontal areas simply maintain action goals, without sensitivity to behavioural differences for achieving those goals.In order to test these hypotheses of frontal theta and executive function, three experiments were conducted. First, to examine the sensitivity of theta to behavioural differences in goal-directed actions, we compared magnetoencephalographic (MEG) recordings of theta activity in twelve healthy adults during two similar tasks: Go/No-Go and Go/Switch, requiring global and selective inhibition, respectively. We observed no differences between these two types of inhibitory control, but did observe differences during error responses. We hypothesized that error-related theta differences may have reflected covert differences in cognitive requirements between the two types of inhibition.Based on these results, a second study was designed to modulate cognitive requirements using the well-defined measure of cognitive effort, pupil diameter (PD), in twelve healthy adults. We developed a novel task combining implicit stimulus pattern learning with a Go/Switch task. The results demonstrated that subjects quickly learned the pattern without conscious awareness. Furthermore, a distinction between PD and behaviour was observed, highlighting the limitations of behavioural measures alone in capturing cognitive processes during task performance.Finally, in order to quantify theta during modulations in cognitive control, the third experiment was conducted on sixteen healthy adults performing the implicit Go/Switch task during MEG and PD recordings. Theta modulations were strongly correlated (r = 0.91) with PD, and therefore inferred to reflect cognitive effort. Furthermore, theta demonstrated a relationship with signals in the sensorimotor cortex. These results suggest a functional role for frontal theta oscillations in cognitive processes, including sensitivity to cognitive load but not behavioural differences while coordinating responses within the sensorimotor cortex. Furthermore, increased theta during implicitly learned unconscious responding demonstrated that conscious awareness was not required for cognitive effort. These results are discussed with respect to theories of action control. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)
    • Dissertation Details:
      UMI Order Number: AAI27835533
      OpenURL: http://gateway.proquest.com/openurl?url_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:dissertation&res_dat=xri:pqm&rft_dat=xri:pqdiss:27835533
      Advisor(s): Cheyne, Douglas O.
      Degree: Ph.D., 2020
      Institution: University of Toronto (Canada)
      Department: Medical Science
    • Subject Terms:
    • PsycINFO Classification:
      Physiological Psychology & Neuroscience (2500)
      Cognitive Processes (2340)
    • Population:
      Human
    • Methodology:
      Empirical Study; Quantitative Study
    • Physical Description:
      Electronic
    • Publication Date:
      20200907
    • Accession Number:
      2020-58779-195
  • Citations
    • ABNT:
      ISABELLA, S. The role of automaticity in the cognitive control of human action: A magnetoencephalographic study. 2021. ProQuest Information & Learning, [s. l.], 2021. Disponível em: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=psyh&AN=2020-58779-195. Acesso em: 28 out. 2020.
    • AMA:
      Isabella S. The role of automaticity in the cognitive control of human action: A magnetoencephalographic study. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering. 2021;82(1-B). Accessed October 28, 2020. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=psyh&AN=2020-58779-195
    • APA:
      Isabella, S. (2021). The role of automaticity in the cognitive control of human action: A magnetoencephalographic study [ProQuest Information & Learning]. In Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering (Vol. 82, Issue 1–B).
    • Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date:
      Isabella, Silvia. 2021. “The Role of Automaticity in the Cognitive Control of Human Action: A Magnetoencephalographic Study.” Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering. ProQuest Information & Learning. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=psyh&AN=2020-58779-195.
    • Harvard:
      Isabella, S. (2021) The role of automaticity in the cognitive control of human action: A magnetoencephalographic study, Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering. ProQuest Information & Learning. Available at: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=psyh&AN=2020-58779-195 (Accessed: 28 October 2020).
    • Harvard: Australian:
      Isabella, S 2021, ‘The role of automaticity in the cognitive control of human action: A magnetoencephalographic study’, ProQuest Information & Learning, Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, vol. 82, no. 1–B, viewed 28 October 2020, .
    • MLA:
      Isabella, Silvia. “The Role of Automaticity in the Cognitive Control of Human Action: A Magnetoencephalographic Study.” Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, vol. 82, no. 1–B, ProQuest Information & Learning, 2021. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=psyh&AN=2020-58779-195.
    • Chicago/Turabian: Humanities:
      Isabella, Silvia. “The Role of Automaticity in the Cognitive Control of Human Action: A Magnetoencephalographic Study.” Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering. ProQuest Information & Learning, 2021. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=psyh&AN=2020-58779-195.
    • Vancouver/ICMJE:
      Isabella S. The role of automaticity in the cognitive control of human action: A magnetoencephalographic study [Internet]. Vol. 82, Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering. ProQuest Information & Learning; 2021 [cited 2020 Oct 28]. Available from: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=psyh&AN=2020-58779-195