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A problem-solving task specialized for functional neuroimaging: validation of the Scarborough adaptation of the Tower of London (S-TOL) using near-infrared spectroscopy.

Ruocco AC, Rodrigo AH, Lam J, Di Domenico SI, Graves B, Ayaz H - Front Hum Neurosci (2014)

Bottom Line: Compared to a baseline condition, problems that required two or three steps to achieve a goal configuration were associated with higher activation in the left DLPFC and deactivation in the medial PFC.Individuals scoring higher in trait deliberation showed consistently higher activation in the left DLPFC regardless of task difficulty, whereas individuals lower in this trait displayed less activation when solving simple problems.Based on these results, the S-TOL may serve as a standardized task to evaluate problem-solving abilities in functional neuroimaging studies.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Clinical Neurosciences Laboratory, Department of Psychology, University of Toronto Scarborough Toronto, ON, Canada.

ABSTRACT
Problem-solving is an executive function subserved by a network of neural structures of which the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is central. Whereas several studies have evaluated the role of the DLPFC in problem-solving, few standardized tasks have been developed specifically for use with functional neuroimaging. The current study adapted a measure with established validity for the assessment of problem-solving abilities to design a test more suitable for functional neuroimaging protocols. The Scarborough adaptation of the Tower of London (S-TOL) was administered to 38 healthy adults while hemodynamic oxygenation of the PFC was measured using 16-channel continuous-wave functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Compared to a baseline condition, problems that required two or three steps to achieve a goal configuration were associated with higher activation in the left DLPFC and deactivation in the medial PFC. Individuals scoring higher in trait deliberation showed consistently higher activation in the left DLPFC regardless of task difficulty, whereas individuals lower in this trait displayed less activation when solving simple problems. Based on these results, the S-TOL may serve as a standardized task to evaluate problem-solving abilities in functional neuroimaging studies.

No MeSH data available.


Areas of significant activation and deactivation associated with solving two- and three-move problems on the Scarborough adaptation of the Tower of London (S-TOL) task for participants who did not meet the 90% accuracy threshold (N = 14). Areas of significant activation are denoted in red, and areas showing significant deactivation are in blue. Data represent t-scores for the contrast of multiple-move and zero-move conditions (p < 0.05, False-Discovery Rate-corrected).
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Figure 6: Areas of significant activation and deactivation associated with solving two- and three-move problems on the Scarborough adaptation of the Tower of London (S-TOL) task for participants who did not meet the 90% accuracy threshold (N = 14). Areas of significant activation are denoted in red, and areas showing significant deactivation are in blue. Data represent t-scores for the contrast of multiple-move and zero-move conditions (p < 0.05, False-Discovery Rate-corrected).

Mentions: Fourteen participants did not meet the 90% accuracy threshold. Table 6 reports the results of multilevel analyses comparing oxy-Hb across the MM and ZM conditions for these participants. Significant increases in oxy-Hb compared to ZM were observed in seven channels, encompassing the anterior aspects of the left middle/IFG (channels: 1 and 3), and the medial PFC (channels: 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11). Conversely, significant decreases in oxy-Hb compared to ZM were observed in six channels, encompassing the left middle/IFG (channels: 2, 4, and 6), and right middle/IFG (channels: 14, 15, and 16). Channels 5, 12, and 13 did not demonstrate a significant change in oxy-Hb across the MM and ZM conditions. These results are portrayed in Figure 6.


A problem-solving task specialized for functional neuroimaging: validation of the Scarborough adaptation of the Tower of London (S-TOL) using near-infrared spectroscopy.

Ruocco AC, Rodrigo AH, Lam J, Di Domenico SI, Graves B, Ayaz H - Front Hum Neurosci (2014)

Areas of significant activation and deactivation associated with solving two- and three-move problems on the Scarborough adaptation of the Tower of London (S-TOL) task for participants who did not meet the 90% accuracy threshold (N = 14). Areas of significant activation are denoted in red, and areas showing significant deactivation are in blue. Data represent t-scores for the contrast of multiple-move and zero-move conditions (p < 0.05, False-Discovery Rate-corrected).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3975118&req=5

Figure 6: Areas of significant activation and deactivation associated with solving two- and three-move problems on the Scarborough adaptation of the Tower of London (S-TOL) task for participants who did not meet the 90% accuracy threshold (N = 14). Areas of significant activation are denoted in red, and areas showing significant deactivation are in blue. Data represent t-scores for the contrast of multiple-move and zero-move conditions (p < 0.05, False-Discovery Rate-corrected).
Mentions: Fourteen participants did not meet the 90% accuracy threshold. Table 6 reports the results of multilevel analyses comparing oxy-Hb across the MM and ZM conditions for these participants. Significant increases in oxy-Hb compared to ZM were observed in seven channels, encompassing the anterior aspects of the left middle/IFG (channels: 1 and 3), and the medial PFC (channels: 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11). Conversely, significant decreases in oxy-Hb compared to ZM were observed in six channels, encompassing the left middle/IFG (channels: 2, 4, and 6), and right middle/IFG (channels: 14, 15, and 16). Channels 5, 12, and 13 did not demonstrate a significant change in oxy-Hb across the MM and ZM conditions. These results are portrayed in Figure 6.

Bottom Line: Compared to a baseline condition, problems that required two or three steps to achieve a goal configuration were associated with higher activation in the left DLPFC and deactivation in the medial PFC.Individuals scoring higher in trait deliberation showed consistently higher activation in the left DLPFC regardless of task difficulty, whereas individuals lower in this trait displayed less activation when solving simple problems.Based on these results, the S-TOL may serve as a standardized task to evaluate problem-solving abilities in functional neuroimaging studies.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Clinical Neurosciences Laboratory, Department of Psychology, University of Toronto Scarborough Toronto, ON, Canada.

ABSTRACT
Problem-solving is an executive function subserved by a network of neural structures of which the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is central. Whereas several studies have evaluated the role of the DLPFC in problem-solving, few standardized tasks have been developed specifically for use with functional neuroimaging. The current study adapted a measure with established validity for the assessment of problem-solving abilities to design a test more suitable for functional neuroimaging protocols. The Scarborough adaptation of the Tower of London (S-TOL) was administered to 38 healthy adults while hemodynamic oxygenation of the PFC was measured using 16-channel continuous-wave functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Compared to a baseline condition, problems that required two or three steps to achieve a goal configuration were associated with higher activation in the left DLPFC and deactivation in the medial PFC. Individuals scoring higher in trait deliberation showed consistently higher activation in the left DLPFC regardless of task difficulty, whereas individuals lower in this trait displayed less activation when solving simple problems. Based on these results, the S-TOL may serve as a standardized task to evaluate problem-solving abilities in functional neuroimaging studies.

No MeSH data available.