Impaired cognitive control and reduced cingulate activity during mental fatigue

Monicque M. Lorist*, Maarten A.S. Boksem, K. Richard Ridderinkhof

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

319 Citations (Scopus)


Neurocognitive mechanisms underlying the effects of mental fatigue are poorly understood. Here, we examined whether error-related brain activity, indexing performance monitoring by the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), and strategic behavioural adjustments were modulated by mental fatigue, as induced by 2 h of continuous demanding cognitive task performance. Findings that (1) mental fatigue is associated with compromised performance monitoring and inadequate performance adjustments after errors, (2) monitoring functions of ACC and striatum rely on dopaminergic inputs from the midbrain, and (3) patients with striatal dopamine deficiencies show symptomatic mental fatigue, suggest that mental fatigue results from a failure to maintain adequate levels of dopaminergic transmission to the striatum and the ACC, resulting in impaired cognitive control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-205
Number of pages7
JournalCognitive Brain Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grants from The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (M.M.L.; concerted research action “Fatigue at Work”) and the School of Behavioural and Cognitive Neurosciences (M.M.L.; Groningen, The Netherlands).


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