Scientists find link between cognitive fatigue and effort and reward

September 5, 2017
Dr. Wylie is associate director of Neuroscience Research and the Rocco Ortenzio Neuroimaging Center at Kessler Foundation. Credit: Kessler Foundation

Kessler Foundation researchers have authored a new article that has implications for our understanding of the relationship between cognitive fatigue and effort and reward. The study, which was conducted in healthy participants, broadens our understanding of disease entities that are associated with a lower threshold for cognitive fatigue, such as multiple sclerosis, brain injury, stroke and Parkinson disease.

The article, "The relationship between outcome prediction and cognitive fatigue: a convergence of paradigms," was epublished ahead of print on May 25, 2017, in Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience. The authors are Glenn Wylie, DPhil, Helen Genova, PhD, John DeLuca, PhD, and Ekaterina Dobryakova, PhD, of Kessler Foundation.

Injury and disease of the brain increase the likelihood of cognitive fatigue, which can be disabling. Researchers are studying the mechanisms of cognitive fatigue, toward the goal of developing effective interventions. "In this study, we focused on the activity of the anterior cingulate cortex, which has been shown by others to be related to error processing, and which we have shown to be associated with fatigue," said Dr. Wylie, who is associate director of Neuroscience Research and the Rocco Ortenzio Neuroimaging Center at Kessler Foundation. "We challenged participants with difficult tasks of working memory, and assessed which parts of the anterior cingulate were associated with error processing," he explained. "We then investigated whether exactly the same areas of the were also associated with fatigue. They were, suggesting that cognitive may be the brain's way of signalling to itself that the effort required for the task no longer merits the rewards received."

Explore further: Researchers correlate cognitive fatigue after TBI with activation of the caudate

More information: G. R. Wylie et al, The relationship between outcome prediction and cognitive fatigue: A convergence of paradigms, Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience (2017). DOI: 10.3758/s13415-017-0515-y

Related Stories

Researchers correlate cognitive fatigue after TBI with activation of the caudate

September 1, 2017
Kessler Foundation researchers have authored a new article that further elucidates the mechanisms for cognitive fatigue, a disabling symptom that affects many individuals after traumatic brain injury (TBI). The article, "Cognitive ...

Researchers link task length with cognitive fatigue in MS

January 21, 2015
Kessler Foundation researchers have authored a new article that provides insight into the factors that contribute to cognitive fatigue in individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Neuroimaging study sheds light on mechanisms of cognitive fatigue in MS

November 1, 2013
A new study by Kessler Foundation scientists sheds light on the mechanisms underlying cognitive fatigue in individuals with multiple sclerosis. Cognitive fatigue is fatigue resulting from mental work rather than from physical ...

Researchers study impact of head movement on fMRI data

February 19, 2014
Kessler Foundation researchers have shown that discarding data from subjects with multiple sclerosis (MS) who exhibit head movement during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) may bias sampling away from subjects ...

Scientists confirm effectiveness of cognitive rehabilitation in multiple sclerosis

August 8, 2014
Kessler Foundation researchers published long-term followup results of their MEMREHAB trial, which show that in individuals with MS, patterns of brain activity associated with learning were maintained at 6 months post training. ...

Physical activity could combat fatigue, cognitive decline in cancer survivors

July 25, 2017
A new study indicates that cancer patients and survivors have a ready weapon against fatigue and "chemo brain": a brisk walk.

Recommended for you

Itsy bitsy spider: Fear of spiders and snakes is deeply embedded in us

October 19, 2017
Snakes and spiders evoke fear and disgust in many people, even in developed countries where hardly anybody comes into contact with them. Until now, there has been debate about whether this aversion is innate or learnt. Scientists ...

Inflamed support cells appear to contribute to some kinds of autism

October 18, 2017
Modeling the interplay between neurons and astrocytes derived from children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, with colleagues in Brazil, say innate ...

Study suggests psychedelic drugs could reduce criminal behavior

October 18, 2017
Classic psychedelics such as psilocybin (often called magic mushrooms), LSD and mescaline (found in peyote) are associated with a decreased likelihood of antisocial criminal behavior, according to new research from investigators ...

Taking probiotics may reduce postnatal depression

October 18, 2017
Researchers from the University of Auckland and Otago have found evidence that a probiotic given in pregnancy can help prevent or treat symptoms of postnatal depression and anxiety.

Schizophrenia disrupts the brain's entire communication system, researchers say

October 17, 2017
Some 40 years since CT scans first revealed abnormalities in the brains of schizophrenia patients, international scientists say the disorder is a systemic disruption to the brain's entire communication system.

Before assigning responsibility, our minds simulate alternative outcomes, study shows

October 17, 2017
How do people assign a cause to events they witness? Some philosophers have suggested that people determine responsibility for a particular outcome by imagining what would have happened if a suspected cause had not intervened.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.