Recruitment of the default mode network during a demanding act of executive control

Elife. 2015 Apr 13:4:e06481. doi: 10.7554/eLife.06481.


In the human brain, a default mode or task-negative network shows reduced activity during many cognitive tasks and is often associated with internally-directed processes, such as mind wandering and thoughts about the self. In contrast to this task-negative pattern, we show increased activity during a large and demanding switch in task set. Furthermore, we employ multivoxel pattern analysis and find that regions of interest within default mode network are encoding task-relevant information during task performance. Activity in this network may be driven by major revisions of cognitive context, whether internally or externally focused.

Keywords: cognitive control; cognitive neuroscience; default mode network; executive function; human; neuroscience; task switching.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attention / physiology
  • Brain
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Executive Function / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Nerve Net / anatomy & histology
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Reaction Time
  • Task Performance and Analysis