Orthogonal neural encoding of targets and distractors supports cognitive control
Harrison Ritz, Amitai Shenhav, Brown University, United States
Posters 3 Poster
Pacific Ballroom H-O
Sat, 27 Aug, 19:30 - 21:30 Pacific Time (UTC -7)
People can flexibly adapt neural information processing to accommodate a wide range of situations. This flexibility may be facilitated by orthogonal neural representations supporting multiple cognitive control signals. We tested representational orthogonality in fMRI using the recently-developed Parametric Attentional Control Task. In dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, we found that task difficulty due to targets vs distractors was orthogonally encoded along an apparent rostrocaudal gradient. In parietal cortex, we found that the strength of target vs distractor information was collinearly and orthogonally represented with medial-lateral differentiation. Across frontoparietal cortex, feature coherence subspaces were aligned with performance subspaces, but feature coherence was only reliably encoded during control-demanding blocks. Together, we find evidence for the neural representations of task variables necessary for multivariate cognitive control.