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Prefrontal Dynamics Associated with Efficient Detours and Shortcuts: A Combined Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Magnetoencenphalography Study

Javadi, A-H; Patai, EZ; Marin-Garcia, E; Margolis, A; Tan, H-RM; Kumaran, D; Nardini, M; ... Spiers, HJ; + view all (2019) Prefrontal Dynamics Associated with Efficient Detours and Shortcuts: A Combined Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Magnetoencenphalography Study. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience , 31 (8) pp. 1227-1247. 10.1162/jocn_a_01414. Green open access

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Abstract

Central to the concept of the "cognitive map" is that it confers behavioral flexibility, allowing animals to take efficient detours, exploit shortcuts, and avoid alluring, but unhelpful, paths. The neural underpinnings of such naturalistic and flexible behavior remain unclear. In two neuroimaging experiments, we tested human participants on their ability to navigate to a set of goal locations in a virtual desert island riven by lava, which occasionally spread to block selected paths (necessitating detours) or receded to open new paths (affording real shortcuts or false shortcuts to be avoided). Detours activated a network of frontal regions compared with shortcuts. Activity in the right dorsolateral PFC specifically increased when participants encountered tempting false shortcuts that led along suboptimal paths that needed to be differentiated from real shortcuts. We also report modulation in event-related fields and theta power in these situations, providing insight to the temporal evolution of response to encountering detours and shortcuts. These results help inform current models as to how the brain supports navigation and planning in dynamic environments.

Type: Article
Title: Prefrontal Dynamics Associated with Efficient Detours and Shortcuts: A Combined Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Magnetoencenphalography Study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1162/jocn_a_01414
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1162/jocn_a_01414
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10077590
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