How unexpected events interrupt cognition

Figure 6: Proposed Theoretical Framework by which Unexpected Events Interrupt Cognition

Forms of working memory (cognition) are likely maintained in cortical areas via reverberating thalamocortical drive. An unexpected event, in this case perceptual novelty, putatively recruits the brain’s stopping system, including the STN of the basal ganglia, which broadly suppresses thalamocortical drive. This erodes the cortical representation, corresponding to a concurrent loss of cognition.

Appeared in:
Wessel, JR and Aron, AR (2017). On the Globality of Motor Suppression: Unexpected Events and Their Influence on Behavior and Cognition. Neuron 93, 259-280.

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