Posterior Alpha and Gamma Oscillations Index Divergent and Superadditive Effects of Cognitive Interference

Alex I. Wiesman, Tony W. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Conflicts at various stages of cognition can cause interference effects on behavior. Two well-studied forms of cognitive interference are stimulus-stimulus (e.g., Flanker), where the conflict arises from incongruence between the task-relevant stimulus and simultaneously presented irrelevant stimulus information, and stimulus-response (e.g., Simon), where interference is the result of an incompatibility between the spatial location of the task-relevant stimulus and a prepotent motor mapping of the expected response. Despite substantial interest in the neural and behavioral underpinnings of cognitive interference, it remains uncertain how differing sources of cognitive conflict might interact, and the spectrally specific neural dynamics that index this phenomenon are poorly understood. Herein, we used an adapted version of the multisource interference task and magnetoencephalography to investigate the spectral, temporal, and spatial dynamics of conflict processing in healthy adults (N = 23). We found a double-dissociation such that, in isolation, stimulus-stimulus interference was indexed by alpha (8-14 Hz), but not gamma-frequency (64-76 Hz) oscillations in the lateral occipital regions, while stimulus-response interference was indexed by gamma oscillations in nearby cortices, but not by alpha oscillations. Surprisingly, we also observed a superadditive effect of simultaneously presented interference types (multisource) on task performance and gamma oscillations in superior parietal cortex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1931-1945
Number of pages15
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 14 2020


  • double dissociation
  • magnetoencephalography
  • multisource interference task
  • neural oscillations
  • superadditivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Posterior Alpha and Gamma Oscillations Index Divergent and Superadditive Effects of Cognitive Interference'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this