Cross-hemispheric complementary prefrontal mechanisms during task switching under perceptual uncertainty

Kaho Tsumura, Ryuta Aoki, Masaki Takeda, Kiyoshi Nakahara, Koji Jimura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Flexible adaptation to changing environments is a representative executive control function implicated in the frontoparietal network that requires appropriate extraction of goal-relevant information through perception of the external environment. It remains unclear, however, how the flexibility is achieved under situations where goal-relevant information is uncertain. To address this issue, the current study examined neural mechanisms for task switching in which task-relevant information involved perceptual uncertainty. Twenty-eight human participants of both sexes alternated behavioral tasks in which they judged motion direction or color of visually presented colored dot stimuli that moved randomly. Task switching was associated with frontoparietal regions in the left hemisphere, and perception of ambiguous stimuli involved contralateral homologous frontoparietal regions. On the other hand, in stimulus-modality-dependent occipitotemporal regions, task coding information was increased during task switching. Effective connectivity analysis revealed that the frontal regions signaled toward the modality-dependent occipitotemporal regions when a relevant stimulus was more ambiguous, whereas the occipitotemporal regions signaled toward the frontal regions when the stimulus was more distinctive. These results suggest that complementary prefrontal mechanisms in the left and right hemispheres help to achieve a behavioral goal when the external environment involves perceptual uncertainty.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2197-2213
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Mar 10


  • Behavioral flexibility
  • Executive control
  • Occipitotemporal
  • Perceptual decision-making
  • Prefrontal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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