STUDY: NeuroImage – fMRI reveals reciprocal inhibition between social and physical cognitive domains

Two lines of evidence indicate that there exists a reciprocal inhibitory relationship between opposed brain networks. First, most attention-demanding cognitive tasks activate a stereotypical set of brain areas, known as the task-positive network and simultaneously deactivate a different set of brain regions, commonly referred to as the task negative or default mode network. Second, functional connectivity analyses show that these same opposed networks are anti-correlated in the resting state. We hypothesize that these reciprocally inhibitory effects reflect two incompatible cognitive modes, each of which is directed towards understanding the external world. Thus, engaging one mode activates one set of regions and suppresses activity in the other


Anthony I. Jack
Abigail Dawson
Katelyn Begany
Regina L. Leckie
Kevin Barry
Angela Cicciab,
Abraham Snyderc


Department of Cognitive Science, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio

Department of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio

Department of Radiology, Washington University in St Louis Medical School, St Louis, Missouri