Depletion of executive control during risky decision making reveals a correspondence between the reflection effect and trial-by-trial strategy formation
The Attention Network Test (ANT) is a measure that allows assessment of the three different attention networks postulated by Posner and Peterson (1990): alerting, orienting, and executive control. The ANT became a popular tool for assessing the functioning of attention networks due to its simplicity, relative brevity, and accessibility for researchers. The data obtained with the ANT in a Russian sample are reported in this study. The analysis was focused on the question of independence of the attention networks. It has been shown that the orienting and executive control networks are not independent from one another since these networks scores yielded a significant correlation. Furthermore, an interaction was found between cue types and flanker types.
We investigated the role of executive control processes in the activation of manual affordances in two experiments combining stimulus–response compatibility (SRC) and dual-task paradigms. We registered an inverse SRC effect in the presence of a parallel backward-counting task in Experiment 1, and a cancellation of the SRC effect in Experiment 2 when a parallel Stroop-like task was used. We interpret our data as supporting a self-inhibition account of the affordance activation control. Accordingly, the role of executive processes is to prevent self-inhibition in supraliminal conditions: when cognitive resources are depleted by a parallel task, the self-inhibition mechanism becomes active and irrelevantly potentiated affordances are inhibited, leading to the emergence of an inverse SRC effect. In addition, the difference between data patterns observed in the two experiments suggests that the exact roles of the executive processes involved during the activation of affordances may differ. The results suggest a mechanism for action-related activation monitoring based on a flexible control over automatically potentiated actions. The paper discusses the proposed mechanism in detail and outlines further research directions.
In this study, we investigated the effect of transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) on decision making under risk and executive control in humans. Stimulation was delivered online at 5, 10, 20, and 40 Hz on the left and right DLPFC while subjects performed a modified risky decision making task. This task allowed subjects to voluntarily switch between risky and safe options associated with potential gains or losses while simultaneously measuring the cognitive control component (voluntary switching) of decision making. Our results revealed a frequency- and hemisphere-specific effect of 20Hz tACS delivered on the left DLPFC that significantly increased risk-taking. These results suggest a modulatory role of 20 Hz neural oscillations on the left DLPFC in risk-taking perhaps by activating the brain’s reward system.