Context-dependency in the Cognitive Bias Task and Resting-state Functional Connectivity of the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex
Goldberg, the author of the “novelty-routinization” framework, suggested a new pair of cognitive styles for agent-centered decision-making (DM), context-dependency/independency (CD/CI), quantified by the Cognitive Bias Task (CBT) and supposedly reflecting functional brain hemispheric specialization. To date, there are only three lesion and activation neuroimaging studies on the CBT with the largest sample of 12 participants. The present study is the first to analyze whole-brain functional connectivity (FC) of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), involved in contextual agent-centered DM.
We compared whole-brain resting-state FC of the DLPFC between CD (n = 24) and CI (n = 22) healthy participants. Additionally, we investigated associations between CD/CI and different aspects of executive functions.
CD participants had stronger positive FC of the DLPFC with motor and visual regions; FC of the left DLPFC was more extensive. CI participants had stronger positive FC of the left DLPFC with right prefrontal and parietal-occipital areas and of the left and right DLPFC with ipsilateral cerebellar hemispheres. No sex differences were found. CD/CI had nonlinear associations with working memory.
The findings suggest that CD and CI are associated with different patterns of DLPFC FC. While CD is associated with FC between DLPFC and areas presumably involved in storing representations of current situation, CI is more likely to be associated with FC between DLPFC and right-lateralized associative regions, probably involved in the inhibition of the CD response and switching from processing of incoming perceptual information to creation of original response strategies.