Abstract: Research using the Stop Signal Task employing an adaptive algorithm to accommodate individual differences often report inferior performance on the task in individuals with ADHD, OCD, and substance use disorders compared to non‐clinical controls. Furthermore, individuals with deficits in inhibitory control tend to show reduced neural activity in key inhibitory regions during successful stopping. However, the adaptive algorithm systematically introduces performance‐related differences in objective task difficulty that may influence the estimation of individual differences in stop‐related neural activity. This report examines the effect that these algorithm‐related differences have on the measurement of neural activity during the stop signal task. We compared two groups of subjects (n = 210) who differed in inhibitory ability using both a standard fMRI analysis and an analysis that resampled trials to remove the objective task difficulty confound. The results show that objective task difficulty influences the magnitude of between‐group differences and that controlling for difficulty attenuates stop‐related activity differences between superior and poor inhibitors. Specifically, group differences in the right inferior frontal gyrus, right middle occipital gyrus, and left inferior frontal gyrus are diminished when differences in objective task difficulty are controlled for. Also, when objective task difficulty effects are exaggerated, group differences in stop related activity emerge in other regions of the stopping network. The implications of these effects for how we interpret individual differences in activity levels are discussed.
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Bongard's work focuses on understanding the general nature of cognition, regardless of whether it is found in humans, animals or robots. This unique approach focuses on the role that morphology and evolution plays in cognition. Addressing these questions has taken him into the fields of biology, psychology, engineering and computer science.
Danforth is an applied mathematician interested in modeling a variety of physical, biological, and social phenomenon. He has applied principles of chaos theory to improve weather forecasts as a member of the Mathematics and Climate Research Network, and developed a real-time remote sensor of global happiness using messages from Twitter: the Hedonometer. Danforth co-runs the Computational Story Lab with Peter Dodds, and helps run UVM's reading group on complexity.
Laurent studies the interaction of structure and dynamics. His research involves network theory, statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics along with their applications in epidemiology, ecology, biology, and sociology. Recent projects include comparing complex networks of different nature, the coevolution of human behavior and infectious diseases, understanding the role of forest shape in determining stability of tropical forests, as well as the impact of echo chambers in political discussions.
Hines' work broadly focuses on finding ways to make electric energy more reliable, more affordable, with less environmental impact. Particular topics of interest include understanding the mechanisms by which small problems in the power grid become large blackouts, identifying and mitigating the stresses caused by large amounts of electric vehicle charging, and quantifying the impact of high penetrations of wind/solar on electricity systems.
Bagrow's interests include: Complex Networks (community detection, social modeling and human dynamics, statistical phenomena, graph similarity and isomorphism), Statistical Physics (non-equilibrium methods, phase transitions, percolation, interacting particle systems, spin glasses), and Optimization(glassy techniques such as simulated/quantum annealing, (non-gradient) minimization of noisy objective functions).