Interacting outcome retrieval, anticipation, and feedback processes in the human brain

Nicholas D Walsh, Mary L Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Cognitive control is an inherently multivariate phenomenon, and its neural basis is currently unclear. Here we examined using functional magnetic resonance imaging how participants retrieve prelearnt information from memory, use this information to guide responses for an impending decision, and adjust their responses based on outcome feedback. We developed a behavioral task designed to manipulate memory outcome-retrieval load, outcome-anticipation interval, and outcome-feedback processes. This allowed us to understand the neural basis of these cognitive processes in isolation and how they interact. Extending previous work, we found a retrieval-load by outcome-feedback interaction in the left globus pallidus; an outcome-feedback by anticipation-interval interaction in the inferior prefrontal cortex; a retrieval-load by anticipation-interval interaction in the midcingulate gyrus and a load by interval by outcome interaction in the right frontal pole. These results further advance our knowledge of how fundamental cognitive processes interact physiologically to give rise to higher-level behavioral control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-81
Number of pages11
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number2
Early online date8 May 2009
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010


  • Adult
  • Brain
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cognition
  • Executive Function
  • Feedback, Psychological
  • Female
  • Globus Pallidus
  • Gyrus Cinguli
  • Humans
  • Judgment
  • Learning
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Memory
  • Motivation
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Prefrontal Cortex
  • Reaction Time
  • Task Performance and Analysis
  • Young Adult

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