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Keywords:

  • Cognitive control;
  • Rule selection;
  • Oscillations;
  • Modafinil;
  • Prefrontal cortex;
  • Theta

Abstract

Control-related cognitive processes are associated with cortical oscillations and modulated by catecholamine neurotransmitters. It remains unclear how catecholamine systems modulate control-related oscillations. We tested modafinil effects on rule-related 4–30 Hz oscillations, with double-blind, placebo-controlled (within-subjects) testing of 22 healthy adults, using EEG during cognitive control task performance. EEG data underwent time-frequency decomposition with Morlet wavelets to determine power of 4–30 Hz oscillations. Modafinil enhanced oscillatory power associated with high-control rule selection in theta, alpha, and beta ranges, with a frontotemporal topography and minimal effects during rule maintenance. Augmentation of catecholamine signaling enhances middle-frequency cortical oscillatory power associated with rule selection, which may subserve diverse subcomponent processes in proactive cognitive control.