Research on Executive Functions by EEG and fMRI

A special issue of Brain Sciences (ISSN 2076-3425). This special issue belongs to the section "Behavioral Neuroscience".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 May 2024) | Viewed by 2672

Special Issue Editor


E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Neurofarba, University of Florence, 50121 Florence, Italy
Interests: executive function; cognitive control; inhibition; EEG; fMRI

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Executive functions represent a cornerstone of human cognition, encompassing a suite of high-level mental processes that enable individuals to strategize, plan, organize, and adapt to the ever-evolving challenges of daily life. These functions play a pivotal role in our ability to make decisions, control impulses, shift attention, and manage working memory. The dynamic interplay between executive functions forms the bedrock of our cognitive toolkit, allowing us to navigate the multifaceted intricacies of our world. Recent innovations in the realm of neuroimaging have been crucial in unveiling the neurobiological underpinnings of executive functions. Methodological advancements in Electroencephalography (EEG) and Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) have increased our understanding of executive functions. We invite researchers from diverse disciplines to contribute to this Special Issue dedicated to exploring executive functions through the lens of EEG and fMRI. We welcome theoretical and/or empirical contributions that expand our knowledge of executive functions.

Dr. Gioele Gavazzi
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • executive function
  • cognition
  • electroencephalography
  • EEG
  • functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • fMRI

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

14 pages, 1845 KiB  
Article
Enhanced Cognitive Inhibition in Table Tennis Athletes: Insights from Color-Word and Spatial Stroop Tasks
by Qin Huang, Xuechen Mao, Jilong Shi, Jun Pan and Anmin Li
Brain Sci. 2024, 14(5), 443; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci14050443 - 29 Apr 2024
Viewed by 471
Abstract
The ability to inhibit conflicting information is pivotal in the dynamic and high-speed context of fast-ball sports. However, the behavioral and electrophysiological characteristics underlying the cognitive inhibition processes associated with table tennis expertise remain unexplored. This study aims to bridge these research gaps [...] Read more.
The ability to inhibit conflicting information is pivotal in the dynamic and high-speed context of fast-ball sports. However, the behavioral and electrophysiological characteristics underlying the cognitive inhibition processes associated with table tennis expertise remain unexplored. This study aims to bridge these research gaps by utilizing the color-word Stroop task and the spatial Stroop task alongside event-related potential (ERP) measurements to investigate domain-general and domain-specific cognitive inhibition among table tennis athletes. The study involved a total of 40 participants, including 20 table tennis athletes (11 males and 9 females; mean age 20.75 years) and 20 nonathletes (9 males and 11 females; mean age 19.80 years). The group differences in the Stroop effect on behavioral outcomes and ERP amplitudes were compared within each task, respectively. In the color-word Stroop tasks, athletes exhibited smaller incongruent-related negative potential amplitudes (Ninc; 300–400 ms; p = 0.036) and a diminished Stroop effect on late sustained potential amplitudes (LSP; 500–650 ms; p = 0.028) than nonathletes, although no significant differences were observed in behavioral outcomes (p > 0.05). Conversely, in the spatial Stroop tasks, athletes not only responded more swiftly but also exhibited reduced Stroop effects on both LSP amplitudes (350–500 ms; p = 0.004) and reaction times (p = 0.002) relative to nonathletes. These findings suggest that table tennis athletes excel in cognitive inhibition in the context of both domain-general and domain-specific tasks, particularly exhibiting enhanced performance in tasks that are closely aligned with the demands of their sport. Our results support the neural efficiency hypothesis and improve our understanding of the interactions between cognitive functions and table tennis expertise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Executive Functions by EEG and fMRI)
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11 pages, 712 KiB  
Article
Differences in the Efficiency of Cognitive Control across Young Adulthood: An ERP Perspective
by Martina Knežević
Brain Sci. 2024, 14(4), 347; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci14040347 - 31 Mar 2024
Viewed by 720
Abstract
Young adulthood is a period of major life changes when everyday life becomes much more complex compared to adolescence. Such changes require highly efficient cognitive control. Developmental studies show that structural changes in the brain areas that support complex behavior continue into the [...] Read more.
Young adulthood is a period of major life changes when everyday life becomes much more complex compared to adolescence. Such changes require highly efficient cognitive control. Developmental studies show that structural changes in the brain areas that support complex behavior continue into the early 20s. However, despite the fact that at the beginning of young adulthood, important behavioral and brain restructuring still occurs, most studies use broad age ranges for young adults (from 18 to 40 years of age) as a reference point for “adult” behavior. The aim of this study was to investigate age-related differences in the efficiency of cognitive control across young adulthood. In total, 107 individuals participated in this study and were divided into three age groups: 19–21, 23–26, and 28–44. We used a visual word categorization task to assess cognitive efficiency and event-related potentials (ERPs) to track events that take place from the stimulus onset until the actual behavioral response. We found age differences in both performance and amplitudes of the ERP components during the early stages of processing — P2 and N2. Our findings provide important evidence for the continuation of age-related changes in brain dynamics that underlie the efficiency of cognitive control even in the early 20s. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Executive Functions by EEG and fMRI)
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14 pages, 4056 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Cortico-Muscular Coupling and Functional Brain Network under Different Standing Balance Paradigms
by Weijie Ke and Zhizeng Luo
Brain Sci. 2024, 14(1), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci14010081 - 13 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1125
Abstract
Maintaining standing balance is essential for people to engage in productive activities in daily life. However, the process of interaction between the cortex and the muscles during balance regulation is understudied. Four balance paradigms of different difficulty were designed by closing eyes and [...] Read more.
Maintaining standing balance is essential for people to engage in productive activities in daily life. However, the process of interaction between the cortex and the muscles during balance regulation is understudied. Four balance paradigms of different difficulty were designed by closing eyes and laying sponge pad under feet. Ten healthy subjects were recruited to stand for ten 15 s trials in each paradigm. This study used simultaneously acquired electroencephalography (EEG) and electromyography (EMG) to investigate changes in the human cortico-muscular coupling relationship and functional brain network characteristics during balance control. The coherence and causality of EEG and EMG signals were calculated by magnitude-squared coherence (MSC) and transfer entropy (TE). It was found that changes in balance strategies may lead to a shift in cortico-muscular coherence (CMC) from the beta band to the gamma band when the difficulty of balance increased. As subjects performed the four standing balance paradigms, the causality of the beta band and the gamma band was stronger in the descending neural pathway than that in the ascending neural pathway. A multi-rhythmic functional brain network with 19 EEG channels was constructed and analyzed based on graph theory, showing that its topology also changed with changes in balance difficulty. These results show an active adjustment of the sensorimotor system under different balance paradigms and provide new insights into the endogenous physiological mechanisms underlying the control of standing balance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Executive Functions by EEG and fMRI)
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