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An information theory account of cognitive control.

Fan J - Front Hum Neurosci (2014)

Bottom Line: Despite a considerable focus in the literature on the cognitive control of information processing, neural mechanisms underlying control are still unclear, and have not been characterized by considering the quantity of information to be processed.A novel and comprehensive account of cognitive control is proposed using concepts from information theory, which is concerned with communication system analysis and the quantification of information.This hypothesis and theory article justifies the validity and properties of such an account and relates experimental findings to the frontoparietal network under the framework of information theory.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Queens College, The City University of New York Flushing, NY, USA ; Departments of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai New York, NY, USA.

ABSTRACT
Our ability to efficiently process information and generate appropriate responses depends on the processes collectively called cognitive control. Despite a considerable focus in the literature on the cognitive control of information processing, neural mechanisms underlying control are still unclear, and have not been characterized by considering the quantity of information to be processed. A novel and comprehensive account of cognitive control is proposed using concepts from information theory, which is concerned with communication system analysis and the quantification of information. This account treats the brain as an information-processing entity where cognitive control and its underlying brain networks play a pivotal role in dealing with conditions of uncertainty. This hypothesis and theory article justifies the validity and properties of such an account and relates experimental findings to the frontoparietal network under the framework of information theory.

No MeSH data available.


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Cognitive control implemented via attentional functions of alerting, orienting, and executive control.
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Figure 5: Cognitive control implemented via attentional functions of alerting, orienting, and executive control.

Mentions: It is proposed that cognitive control is implemented by computational mechanisms of distinct and integrated attentional networks which influence information processing for uncertainty reduction (Mackie et al., 2013) (Figure 5). Attention is defined as the activity of a set of brain networks of alerting, orienting, and executive control that influences the priority of computations of other brain networks for access to consciousness or to output (Fan et al., 2002, 2005; Fan and Posner, 2004). Alerting is for achieving an alert state (tonic) and the ability to prepare for a sensory signal (phasic). Orienting is for the selection of information from sensory input and turning attention toward a sensory signal (reflexive or voluntary, covert or overt). Executive control detects and resolves conflict and selects one dimension in the presence of competing information or computation. The coordination of the attentional networks, with modality-independent executive control at the top hierarchical level (Spagna et al., in preparation), functions similar to Normal and Shallice's supervisory attentional system (Norman and Shallice, 1986), and dynamically implements cognitive control in a context-sensitive fashion. It is the mechanism of so called selective attention to deal with the limited capacity of information processing via selectivity (Desimone and Duncan, 1995). This cognitive control architecture is consistent with a key principle of the brain (Friston and Stephan, 2007), with lower regions for sensory input, modulated by alerting and orienting, and higher regions performing multimodal (or association) functions coordinated by executive control.


An information theory account of cognitive control.

Fan J - Front Hum Neurosci (2014)

Cognitive control implemented via attentional functions of alerting, orienting, and executive control.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4151034&req=5

Figure 5: Cognitive control implemented via attentional functions of alerting, orienting, and executive control.
Mentions: It is proposed that cognitive control is implemented by computational mechanisms of distinct and integrated attentional networks which influence information processing for uncertainty reduction (Mackie et al., 2013) (Figure 5). Attention is defined as the activity of a set of brain networks of alerting, orienting, and executive control that influences the priority of computations of other brain networks for access to consciousness or to output (Fan et al., 2002, 2005; Fan and Posner, 2004). Alerting is for achieving an alert state (tonic) and the ability to prepare for a sensory signal (phasic). Orienting is for the selection of information from sensory input and turning attention toward a sensory signal (reflexive or voluntary, covert or overt). Executive control detects and resolves conflict and selects one dimension in the presence of competing information or computation. The coordination of the attentional networks, with modality-independent executive control at the top hierarchical level (Spagna et al., in preparation), functions similar to Normal and Shallice's supervisory attentional system (Norman and Shallice, 1986), and dynamically implements cognitive control in a context-sensitive fashion. It is the mechanism of so called selective attention to deal with the limited capacity of information processing via selectivity (Desimone and Duncan, 1995). This cognitive control architecture is consistent with a key principle of the brain (Friston and Stephan, 2007), with lower regions for sensory input, modulated by alerting and orienting, and higher regions performing multimodal (or association) functions coordinated by executive control.

Bottom Line: Despite a considerable focus in the literature on the cognitive control of information processing, neural mechanisms underlying control are still unclear, and have not been characterized by considering the quantity of information to be processed.A novel and comprehensive account of cognitive control is proposed using concepts from information theory, which is concerned with communication system analysis and the quantification of information.This hypothesis and theory article justifies the validity and properties of such an account and relates experimental findings to the frontoparietal network under the framework of information theory.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Queens College, The City University of New York Flushing, NY, USA ; Departments of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai New York, NY, USA.

ABSTRACT
Our ability to efficiently process information and generate appropriate responses depends on the processes collectively called cognitive control. Despite a considerable focus in the literature on the cognitive control of information processing, neural mechanisms underlying control are still unclear, and have not been characterized by considering the quantity of information to be processed. A novel and comprehensive account of cognitive control is proposed using concepts from information theory, which is concerned with communication system analysis and the quantification of information. This account treats the brain as an information-processing entity where cognitive control and its underlying brain networks play a pivotal role in dealing with conditions of uncertainty. This hypothesis and theory article justifies the validity and properties of such an account and relates experimental findings to the frontoparietal network under the framework of information theory.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus