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Abstract and motor planning – An fMRI investigation of relational reasoning

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Golde,  Maria
Department Cognitive Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Schubotz,  Ricarda Ines
Department Cognitive Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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von Cramon,  D. Yves
Department Cognitive Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Golde, M., Schubotz, R. I., & von Cramon, D. Y. (2007). Abstract and motor planning – An fMRI investigation of relational reasoning. Poster presented at 49. Tagung experimentell arbeitender Psychologen (TeaP), Germany.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0010-997C-1
Abstract
The aim of the project presented is to elucidate the role of two frontal areas - prefrontal cortex (PFC) and premotor cortex (PMC) - in action planning. As planning always entails representing relations between different components of the task, it can be conceived of as a kind of relational reasoning. Both brain areas are suggested to be involved in relational thinking. In this experiment we tested the hypothesis that the functional difference lies in the cognitive domain of the relational information processed. For PFC, the type of relational reasoning might be characterized as “abstract”, whereas the relational reasoning performed by PMC could be more “motor-related”. To differentiate the correlates of relational processes in the motor and abstract domains, brain activation was measured using fMRI. A reasoning paradigm adapted from the Raven Progressive Matrices was employed, with subjects performing in an “abstract” condition and an “action” condition. First results are presented.