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Catching wandering minds with tapping fingers : neural and behavioral insights into task-unrelated cognition

(2022) CEREBRAL CORTEX. 32(20). p.4447-4463
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Abstract
When the human mind wanders, it engages in episodes during which attention is focused on self-generated thoughts rather than on external task demands. Although the sustained attention to response task is commonly used to examine relationships between mind wandering and executive functions, limited executive resources are required for optimal task performance. In the current study, we aimed to investigate the relationship between mind wandering and executive functions more closely by employing a recently developed finger-tapping task to monitor fluctuations in attention and executive control through task performance and periodical experience sampling during concurrent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and pupillometry. Our results show that mind wandering was preceded by increases in finger-tapping variability, which was correlated with activity in dorsal and ventral attention networks. The entropy of random finger-tapping sequences was related to activity in frontoparietal regions associated with executive control, demonstrating the suitability of this paradigm for studying executive functioning. The neural correlates of behavioral performance, pupillary dynamics, and self-reported attentional state diverged, thus indicating a dissociation between direct and indirect markers of mind wandering. Together, the investigation of these relationships at both the behavioral and neural level provided novel insights into the identification of underlying mechanisms of mind wandering.
Keywords
approximate entropy, executive function, fMRI, mind wandering, pupillometry

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Citation

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MLA
Groot, Josephine M., et al. “Catching Wandering Minds with Tapping Fingers : Neural and Behavioral Insights into Task-Unrelated Cognition.” CEREBRAL CORTEX, vol. 32, no. 20, 2022, pp. 4447–63, doi:10.1093/cercor/bhab494.
APA
Groot, J. M., Csifcsák, G., Wientjes, S., Forstmann, B. U., & Mittner, M. (2022). Catching wandering minds with tapping fingers : neural and behavioral insights into task-unrelated cognition. CEREBRAL CORTEX, 32(20), 4447–4463. https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhab494
Chicago author-date
Groot, Josephine M., Gábor Csifcsák, Sven Wientjes, Birte U. Forstmann, and Matthias Mittner. 2022. “Catching Wandering Minds with Tapping Fingers : Neural and Behavioral Insights into Task-Unrelated Cognition.” CEREBRAL CORTEX 32 (20): 4447–63. https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhab494.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Groot, Josephine M., Gábor Csifcsák, Sven Wientjes, Birte U. Forstmann, and Matthias Mittner. 2022. “Catching Wandering Minds with Tapping Fingers : Neural and Behavioral Insights into Task-Unrelated Cognition.” CEREBRAL CORTEX 32 (20): 4447–4463. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhab494.
Vancouver
1.
Groot JM, Csifcsák G, Wientjes S, Forstmann BU, Mittner M. Catching wandering minds with tapping fingers : neural and behavioral insights into task-unrelated cognition. CEREBRAL CORTEX. 2022;32(20):4447–63.
IEEE
[1]
J. M. Groot, G. Csifcsák, S. Wientjes, B. U. Forstmann, and M. Mittner, “Catching wandering minds with tapping fingers : neural and behavioral insights into task-unrelated cognition,” CEREBRAL CORTEX, vol. 32, no. 20, pp. 4447–4463, 2022.
@article{8739683,
  abstract     = {{When the human mind wanders, it engages in episodes during which attention is focused on self-generated thoughts rather than on external task demands. Although the sustained attention to response task is commonly used to examine relationships between mind wandering and executive functions, limited executive resources are required for optimal task performance. In the current study, we aimed to investigate the relationship between mind wandering and executive functions more closely by employing a recently developed finger-tapping task to monitor fluctuations in attention and executive control through task performance and periodical experience sampling during concurrent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and pupillometry. Our results show that mind wandering was preceded by increases in finger-tapping variability, which was correlated with activity in dorsal and ventral attention networks. The entropy of random finger-tapping sequences was related to activity in frontoparietal regions associated with executive control, demonstrating the suitability of this paradigm for studying executive functioning. The neural correlates of behavioral performance, pupillary dynamics, and self-reported attentional state diverged, thus indicating a dissociation between direct and indirect markers of mind wandering. Together, the investigation of these relationships at both the behavioral and neural level provided novel insights into the identification of underlying mechanisms of mind wandering.}},
  author       = {{Groot, Josephine M. and Csifcsák, Gábor and Wientjes, Sven and Forstmann, Birte U. and Mittner, Matthias}},
  issn         = {{1047-3211}},
  journal      = {{CEREBRAL CORTEX}},
  keywords     = {{approximate entropy,executive function,fMRI,mind wandering,pupillometry}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{20}},
  pages        = {{4447--4463}},
  title        = {{Catching wandering minds with tapping fingers : neural and behavioral insights into task-unrelated cognition}},
  url          = {{http://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhab494}},
  volume       = {{32}},
  year         = {{2022}},
}

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