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Paper   IPM / Cognitive Sciences / 16458
School of Cognitive Sciences
  Title:   Dual-task interference disturbs information in superior parietal lobe in a simulated driving task
1.  M. Abbas-Zadeh
2.  G. Hossein-Zadeh
3.  S. Seyed-Allaei
4.  M. Vaziri-Pashkam
  Status:   Published
  Journal: Basic and Clinical Neuroscience
  Year:  2020
  Supported by:  IPM
Due to the capacity limitation of the cognitive system, performing a secondary task while driving causes a decline in driving performance. In the current study, we aimed to investigate the neural correlates of the dual-task performance in a simulated driving environment. For this purpose, participants performed a lane change task simultaneously with tone discrimination task with either short or long-time onset difference (Stimulus Onset Asynchrony, SOA) between the two tasks in an fMRI experiment. Behavioral results showed a notable dual-task interference, such that the lane change reaction time increased in the short compared to the long SOA condition. FMRI results indicated an increase in the mean brain activity in sensory, decision-related, and motor regions during dual task interference. We next used multi-voxel pattern analysis (MVPA) to probe the change in the information content for the lane change direction during dual-task interference. Using MVPA, we could decode the direction of the lane change above change level in visual, motor regions as well as the central part of superior parietal lobe (SPL). A significant drop in decoding accuracy in short compared to long SOA was observed in the SPL region, while such drop was not observed in the visual and motor regions. Further investigations revealed that the drop of accuracy in the SPL negatively correlated with the reaction times in the lane change task. These results suggest a direct link between the information content of the central region SPL and dual-task interference in a naturalistic simulated driving task.

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