The capacity constraint in the prefrontal and parietal regions for coordinating dual arithmetic tasks

Bo Cheng Kuo, Yei Yu Yeh, Der Yow Chen, Keng Chen Liang, Jyh Horng Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Using a dual-serial-arithmetic paradigm, we examined whether a capacity limitation constrains the neural activation that underlies dual-task performance. Six conditions were run in the experiment (the baseline, single-addition, single-subtraction, dual-addition, dual-subtraction, and the dual-operation condition). In the baseline condition, participants were asked to remember the initial pair of numbers and ignore subsequent stimuli. In the single-addition and single-subtraction conditions, participants had to calculate a running total over a series of stimuli. In the dual-addition and dual-subtraction conditions, they had to do two arithmetic tasks involving the same operand (e.g., + 2 and + 7, - 3 and - 5). Participants performed one addition and one subtraction task (e.g., + 2 and - 7, - 3 and + 5) in the dual-operation condition. The functional magnetic resonance imaging results showed strict left prefrontal and parietal regions in the single-addition condition and bilateral activation in the single-subtraction condition. Greater activation in the prefrontal and parietal regions was observed in both the dual-operation condition and the dual-addition condition in comparison to the single-addition condition. No greater activation was observed in either the dual-operation condition or dual-subtraction condition in comparison to the single-subtraction condition. These results suggest a constraint imposed by a limit in capacity for the neural activity subserving dual-task performance when one of the tasks places high resource demands on the executive network.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-110
Number of pages11
JournalBrain Research
Volume1199
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Mar 14

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

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