Cognitive control is relevant when distracting information induces behavioral conflicts. Such conflicts can be produced consciously and by subliminally processed information. Interestingly, both sources of conflict interact suggesting that they share neural mechanisms. Here, we ask whether conjoint effects between different sources of conflict are modulated by microstructural basal ganglia dysfunction. To this end, we carried out an electroencephalography study and examined event-related potentials (ERPs) including source localization using a combined flanker-subliminal priming task in patients with X-linked dystonia Parkinsonism (XDP) and a group of healthy controls. XDP in its early stages is known to predominantly affect the basal ganglia striosomes. The results suggest that conjoint effects between subliminal and conscious sources of conflicts are modulated by the striosomes and were stronger in XDP patients. The neurophysiological data indicate that this effect is related to modulations in conflict monitoring and response selection (N2 ERP) mechanisms engaging the anterior cingulate cortex. Bottom-up perceptual gating, attentional selection, and motor response activation processes in response to the stimuli (P1, N1, and lateralized readiness potential ERPs) were unaffected. Taken together, these data indicate that striosomes modulate the processing of conscious and subliminal sources of conflict suggesting that microstructural basal ganglia properties are relevant for cognitive control.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)