Humans show striking limitations in information processing when multitasking, yet can modify these limits with practice. Such limitations have been linked to a frontal-parietal network, but recent models of decision-making implicate a striatal-cortical network. We adjudicated these accounts by investigating the circuitry underpinning multitasking in 100 human individuals and the plasticity caused by practice. We observed that multitasking costs, and their practice induced remediation, are best explained by modulations in information transfer between the striatum and the cortical areas that represent stimulus-response mappings. Specifically, our results support the view that multitasking stems at least in part from taxation in information sharing between the putamen and pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA). Moreover, we propose that modulations to information transfer between these two regions leads to practice-induced improvements in multitasking.
- cognitive capacity
- multiple demand network