Recruitment of the default mode network during a demanding act of executive control.


In the human brain, a default mode or task-negative network shows reduced activity during many cognitive tasks and is often associated with internally-directed processes, such as mind wandering and thoughts about the self. In contrast to this task-negative pattern, we show increased activity during a large and demanding switch in task set. Furthermore, we employ multivoxel pattern analysis and find that regions of interest within default mode network are encoding task-relevant information during task performance. Activity in this network may be driven by major revisions of cognitive context, whether internally or externally focused.