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  Medial prefrontal cortex predicts internally driven strategy shifts

Schuck, N. W., Gaschler, R., Wenke, D., Heinzle, J., Frensch, P. A., Haynes, J.-D., et al. (2015). Medial prefrontal cortex predicts internally driven strategy shifts. Neuron, 86(1), 331-340. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2015.03.015.

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 Creators:
Schuck, Nicolas W.1, 2, 3, Author
Gaschler, Robert2, 4, Author
Wenke, Dorit2, Author
Heinzle, Jakob5, 6, Author
Frensch, Peter A.2, Author
Haynes, John-Dylan6, 7, 8, Author              
Reverberi, Carlo6, 9, 10, Author
Affiliations:
1Princeton Neuroscience Institute, Princeton University, NJ, USA, ou_persistent22              
2Department of Psychology, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany, ou_persistent22              
3Center for Lifespan Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany, ou_persistent22              
4Department of Psychology, University Koblenz-Landau, Landau, Germany, ou_persistent22              
5Translational Neuromodeling Unit (TNU), Institute for Biomedical Engineering, University of Zurich, Switzerland, ou_persistent22              
6Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience, Berlin, Germany, ou_persistent22              
7Max Planck Fellow Research Group Attention and Awareness, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, Leipzig, DE, ou_634553              
8Department of Neurology, Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, Germany, ou_persistent22              
9Department of Psychology, University of Milano–Bicocca, Italy, ou_persistent22              
10NeuroMI – Milan Center for Neuroscience, Italy, ou_persistent22              

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 Abstract: Many daily behaviors require us to actively focus on the current task and ignore all other distractions. Yet, ignoring everything else might hinder the ability to discover new ways to achieve the same goal. Here, we studied the neural mechanisms that support the spontaneous change to better strategies while an established strategy is executed. Multivariate neuroimaging analyses showed that before the spontaneous change to an alternative strategy, medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) encoded information that was irrelevant for the current strategy but necessary for the later strategy. Importantly, this neural effect was related to future behavioral changes: information encoding in MPFC was changed only in participants who eventually switched their strategy and started before the actual strategy change. This allowed us to predict spontaneous strategy shifts ahead of time. These findings suggest that MPFC might internally simulate alternative strategies and shed new light on the organization of PFC.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2014-08-182015-03-022015-03-262015-04-08
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.03.015
PMID: 25819613
PMC: PMC4425426
Other: Epub 2015
 Degree: -

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Title: Neuron
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Cambridge, Mass. : Cell Press
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 86 (1) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 331 - 340 Identifier: ISSN: 0896-6273
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925560565