Transient activation during block transition

Seiki Konishi*, David I. Donaldson, Randy L. Buckner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Citations (Scopus)


Functional MRI (fMRI) data analysis of blocked-task paradigms typically considers brain activity present across a temporally extended task block relative to a reference block. An open question remains as to whether processes evolving with distinct temporal profiles are also present and can inform us about further functional-anatomic processes underlying task performance. To explore this question, a meta-analysis of data from these separate studies was performed. The meta-analysis specifically focused on detecting transient activation occurring at the onset and offset of task blocks. The composite data set from 39 subjects included four distinct task conditions (from various intentional encoding paradigms) that had equivalent block timing. Task block activation included a network of regions consistent with prior analyses of intentional encoding. Activation related to the block transitions included a set of transiently activated regions, consistent across all four separate task conditions. The most prominent activation was found in right frontal cortex along the dorsal extent of inferior frontal gyrus (near BA 6/44). Importantly, in one condition, this transient activation was present in the absence of a response across the task block suggesting dissociation between processes in support of ongoing task demands and those associated with transitions between blocks. Other prominent transient activations included posterior superior temporal sulcus, medial occipitoparietal sulcus, anterior insula, and anterior cingulate sulcus in the right hemisphere. These findings are discussed in relation to models of set shifting and competitive interactions between brain regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)364-374
Number of pages11
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001


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