Description: The task in a neurofeedback (NF) paradigm is to execute a mental strategy to influence the activation of a brain area which is generally not under volitional control while guided usually by visual feedback. The strategy execution that is parallel to processing a delayed fMRI feedback signal in a conventional NF paradigm commands a multi-tasking situation that may reduce efficiency of the NF training. Although separating strategy execution from feedback processing (i.e. serial paradigm) has shown some potential, the brain networks underlying this task, as well as the multitasking situation in conventional paradigm are largely unknown. We compare whole- brain fMRI analyses of the most efficient NF training (i.e. the largest aMCC activation) of a conventional (Parallel) paradigm and a Serial paradigm. Resulting activation maps were spatially correlated with functionally annotated intrinsic connectivity brain maps. We found that brain activation in Parallel condition (parallel.nidm) correlated with the basal ganglia network, cingulo-opercular network (CON), and fronto-parietal control network (FPCN); Serial strategy execution activation (serial-strategy.nidm) with default mode network (DMN) and visual processing network; while Serial feedback processing activation (serial-feedback.nidm) predominantly with CON, DMN, and FPCN. Additional comparisons revealed that basal ganglia activation was characteristic to the Parallel paradigm (parallel.nidm), and supramarginal gyrus and superior temporal gyrus activations were characteristic to the Serial paradigm ( (serial.nidm)), reflecting feedback processing. The separation of the feedback signal revealed the cognitive processes associated with feedback processing as an independent task and in comparison to the multitasking situation of the parallel feedback task.
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