Image_8_Cerebellum, Basal Ganglia, and Cortex Mediate Performance of an Aerial Pursuit Task.JPEG (59.14 kB)
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Image_8_Cerebellum, Basal Ganglia, and Cortex Mediate Performance of an Aerial Pursuit Task.JPEG

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posted on 14.02.2020, 04:14 authored by Robert J. Gougelet, Cengiz Terzibas, Daniel E. Callan

The affordance competition hypothesis is an ethologically inspired theory from cognitive neuroscience that provides an integrative neural account of continuous, real-time behavior, and will likely become increasingly relevant to the growing field of neuroergonomics. In the spirit of neuroergonomics in aviation, we designed a three-dimensional, first-person, continuous, and real-time fMRI task during which human subjects maneuvered a simulated airplane in pursuit of a target airplane along constantly changing headings. We introduce a pseudo-event-related, parametric fMRI analysis approach to begin testing the affordance competition hypothesis in neuroergonomic contexts, and attempt to identify regions of the brain that exhibit a linear metabolic relationship with the continuous variables of task performance and distance-from-target. In line with the affordance competition hypothesis, our results implicate the cooperation of the cerebellum, basal ganglia, and cortex in such a task, with greater involvement of the basal ganglia during good performance, and greater involvement of cortex and cerebellum during poor performance and when distance-from-target closes. We briefly review the somatic marker and dysmetria of thought hypotheses, in addition to the affordance competition hypothesis, to speculate on the intricacies of the cooperation of these brain regions in a task such as ours. In doing so, we demonstrate how the affordance competition hypothesis and other cognitive neuroscience theories are ready for testing in continuous, real-time tasks such as ours, and in other neuroergonomic settings more generally.

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