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Brain activation and pupil response during covert performance of the Stroop Color Word task

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 May 1999

GREGORY G. BROWN
Affiliation:
Psychiatry Department, University of California San Diego and VA San Diego Healthcare System
SANDRA S. KINDERMANN
Affiliation:
Psychiatry Department, University of California San Diego and VA San Diego Healthcare System
GREG J. SIEGLE
Affiliation:
Psychiatry Department, University of California San Diego and VA San Diego Healthcare System
ERIC GRANHOLM
Affiliation:
Psychiatry Department, University of California San Diego and VA San Diego Healthcare System
ERIC C. WONG
Affiliation:
Psychiatry Department, University of California San Diego and VA San Diego Healthcare System Radiology Department, University of California San Diego and VA San Diego Healthcare System
RICHARD B. BUXTON
Affiliation:
Radiology Department, University of California San Diego and VA San Diego Healthcare System

Abstract

Patterns of brain activation associated with covert performance of the Stroop Color–Word task were studied in young, healthy, adult volunteers using blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Comparisons of the incongruous Stroop condition were made with both color naming and word reading baselines. Areas of the left and right anterior cingulate, the right precuneus, and the left pars opercularis displayed larger BOLD signal responses during the incongruous Stroop condition than during baseline conditions. Activation of BOLD signals in these areas was highly repeatable. In a second experiment, pupil diameter was used to assess cognitive load in 7 individuals studied during overt and covert performance of both Stroop and color naming conditions. Cognitive load was similar in overt and covert response conditions. Results from the BOLD study indicate that brain regions participating in selective visual attention and in the selection of motor programs involved in speech were activated more by the Stroop task than by the baseline tasks. The neural substrate involved in the resolution of the perceptual and motor conflicts elicited by the Stroop Color–Word task does not appear to be a single brain region. Rather, a network of brain regions is implicated, with separate regions within this system supporting distinct functions. (JINS, 1999, 5, 308–319.)

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 1999 The International Neuropsychological Society

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Brain activation and pupil response during covert performance of the Stroop Color Word task
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