Complexity in relational processing predicts changes in functional brain network dynamics

Cocchi, Luca, Halford, Graeme S., Zalesky, Andrew, Harding, Ian H., Ramm, Brentyn J., Cutmore, Tim, Shum, David H. K. and Mattingley, Jason B. (2014) Complexity in relational processing predicts changes in functional brain network dynamics. Cerebral Cortex, 24 9: 2283-2296. doi:10.1093/cercor/bht075

Author Cocchi, Luca
Halford, Graeme S.
Zalesky, Andrew
Harding, Ian H.
Ramm, Brentyn J.
Cutmore, Tim
Shum, David H. K.
Mattingley, Jason B.
Title Complexity in relational processing predicts changes in functional brain network dynamics
Journal name Cerebral Cortex   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1047-3211
Publication date 2014-09-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/cercor/bht075
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 24
Issue 9
Start page 2283
End page 2296
Total pages 14
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Oxford University Press
Language eng
Subject 2805 Cognitive Neuroscience
2804 Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
Abstract The ability to link variables is critical to many high-order cognitive functions, including reasoning. It has been proposed that limits in relating variables depend critically on relational complexity, defined formally as the number of variables to be related in solving a problem. In humans, the prefrontal cortex is known to be important for reasoning, but recent studies have suggested that such processes are likely to involve widespread functional brain networks. To test this hypothesis, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging and a classic measure of deductive reasoning to examine changes in brain networks as a function of relational complexity. As expected, behavioral performance declined as the number of variables to be related increased. Likewise, increments in relational complexity were associated with proportional enhancements in brain activity and task-based connectivity within and between 2 cognitive control networks: A cingulo-opercular network for maintaining task set, and a fronto-parietal network for implementing trial-by-trial control. Changes in effective connectivity as a function of increased relational complexity suggested a key role for the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in integrating and implementing task set in a trial-by-trial manner. Our findings show that limits in relational processing are manifested in the brain as complexity-dependent modulations of large-scale networks.
Keyword Neurosciences
Neurosciences & Neurology
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID RO1 24014
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes First published online: 5 April 2013.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Queensland Brain Institute Publications
Official 2014 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 31 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 32 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Sat, 30 Nov 2013, 03:34:34 EST by Luca Cocchi on behalf of Queensland Brain Institute