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Starting point bias and drift rate relate to frontal midline theta oscillations

Frontal midline theta oscillatory dynamics have been implicated as an important neural signature of inhibitory control. However, most proactive cognitive control studies rely on behavioral tasks where individual differences are inferred through button presses. We applied computational modeling to further refine our understanding of theta dynamics in a cued anti-saccade task with gaze-contingent eye tracking. Using a drift diffusion model, increased frontal midline theta power during high-conflict, relative to low-conflict, trials predicted a more conservative style of responding through the starting point (bias). During both high- and low-conflict trials, increases in frontal midline theta also predicted improvements in response efficiency (drift rate). Regression analyses provided support for the importance of the starting point bias, which was associated with frontal midline theta over the course of the task above-and-beyond both drift rate and mean reaction time. Our findings provide a more thorough understanding of proactive gaze control by linking trial-by-trial increases of frontal midline theta to a shift in starting point bias facilitating a more neutral style of responding.


Link to the paper.


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