The relation between brain signal complexity and task difficulty on an executive function task
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On a daily basis, we constantly deal with changing environmental cues and perceptual conflicts and as such, our brains must flexibly adapt to current demands in order to act appropriately. Brains become more efficient and are able to switch states more readily by increasing the complexity of their neural networks. However, it is unclear how brain signal complexity relates to behavior in young adults performing cognitively demanding executive function tasks. Here we used multiscale entropy analysis and multivariate statistics on EEG data while participants performed a bivalency effect task-switching paradigm to show that brain signal complexity in young adults increases as task demands increase, that increases in brain signal complexity are associated with both speed gains and losses depending on scalp location, and that more difficult tasks are associated with more circumscribed complexity across the scalp. Overall, these findings highlight a critical role for brain signal complexity in predicting behavior on an executive function task among young adults.
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