Impact of Metacognitive and Psychological Factors in Learning-Induced Plasticity of Resting State Networks

Biology (Basel). 2022 Jun 10;11(6):896. doi: 10.3390/biology11060896.


While resting-state networks are able to rapidly adapt to experiences and stimuli, it is currently unknown whether metacognitive processes such as confidence in learning and psychological temperament may influence this process. We explore the neural traces of confidence in learning and their variability by: (1) targeting rs-networks in which functional connectivity (FC) modifications induced by a learning task were associated either with the participant's performance or confidence in learning; and (2) investigating the links between FC changes and psychological temperament. Thirty healthy individuals underwent neuropsychological and psychometric evaluations as well as rs-fMRI scans before and after a visuomotor associative learning task. Confidence in learning was positively associated with the degree of FC changes in 11 connections including the cerebellar, frontal, parietal, and subcortical areas. Variability in FC changes was linked to the individual's level of anxiety sensitivity. The present findings indicate that reconfigurations of resting state networks linked to confidence in learning differ from those linked to learning accuracy. In addition, certain temperament characteristics appear to influence these reconfigurations.

Keywords: cerebellum; confidence; learning; plasticity; psychological traits; resting state.

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.