NEURAL CORRELATES OF RELATIONAL REASONING AND THE SYMBOLIC DISTANCE EFFECT: INVOLVEMENT OF PARIETAL CORTEX

E. C. Hinton*, S. Dymond, U. von Hecker, C. J. Evans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A novel, five-term relational reasoning paradigm was employed during functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate neural correlates of the symbolic distance effect (SDE). Prior to scanning, participants learned a series of more-than (E>D>C>B>A) or less-than (AA) and nonadjacent one-step (AA, D>B and E>C) and two-step (AA and E>B) combinatorial entailed tasks. In terms of brain activation, the SDE was identified in the inferior frontal cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and bilateral parietal cortex with a graded activation pattern from adjacent to one-step and two-step relations. We suggest that this captures the behavioural SDE of increased accuracy and decreased reaction time from adjacent to two-step relations. One-step relations involving endpoints A or E resulted in greater parietal activation compared to one-step relations without endpoints. Novel contrasts found enhanced activation in right parietal and prefrontal cortices during mutually entailed tasks only for participants who had learned all less-than relations. Increased parietal activation was found for one-step tasks that were inconsistent with prior training. Overall, the findings demonstrate a crucial role for parietal cortex during relational reasoning with a spatially ordered array. (C) 2010 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-148
Number of pages11
JournalNeuroscience
Volume168
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2010

Structured keywords

  • Brain and Behaviour

Keywords

  • fMRI
  • transitive inference
  • relational reasoning
  • symbolic distance
  • more-than
  • less-than
  • ROSTROLATERAL PREFRONTAL CORTEX
  • TRANSITIVE INFERENCE
  • STIMULUS EQUIVALENCE
  • HIPPOCAMPAL ACTIVATION
  • BRAIN IMAGES
  • HUMANS
  • FMRI
  • REPRESENTATION
  • MEMORY
  • ROBUST

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