HCP Aging

Task Protocols for HCP-Aging

The HCP-Aging study uses three customized task scripts in its functional MRI protocol. These tasks are now available for download and use by other researchers. 

VisMotor Task

The VISMOTOR task is a simultaneous motor and visual activation paradigm. Participants view checkerboards on the screen and make motor responses (button presses) indicating what side of the screen the checkerboard shows a change in color. This task is a block design with the potential option to analyze in an event related manner. It is intended as a localizer for visual and motor networks.


The CARIT task (Conditioned Approach Response Inhibition Task, a Go/Nogo task with a reward history component; Winter and Sheridan 2014) indexes the interactions between value history and cognitive control.

Its core element is a classic Go NoGo task which allows mapping of differential neural activity when response inhibition demands are high (NoGo trials) compared to freely responding with a motor action (Go). This contrast identifies brain regions important for motor response inhibition.

In addition, the NoGo targets have special “conditioned” qualities. One of the shapes that constitutes a NoGo stimulus had been paired with monetary rewards and the other NoGo stimulus had been paired with monetary losses during the immediately preceding GUESSING task. In the GUESSING task (also in the HCP-Lifespan battery), the shapes (square and circle) were presented on feedback screens indicating whether participants won or lost money on a given trial. One shape was always associated with monetary wins, and the other was always associated with monetary losses (assignment counterbalanced). The previously rewarded shape can be indicated for the Rewarded GoNogo task and used in analyses. This aspect of the task aims to identify reward-control interactions.

Winter, Warren, and Margaret Sheridan. 2014. “Previous Reward Decreases Errors of Commission on Later ‘No-Go’ Trials in Children 4 to 12 Years of Age: Evidence for a Context Monitoring Account.” Developmental Science 17 (5): 797–807. doi: 10.1111/desc.12168

Facename Task

The FACENAME task is a paired-associates memory task. Participants are asked to encode the names of different face identities in some blocks and mentally recall them in other blocks. Immediately following MRI scanning the participants provide explicit recall for face-name pairs to validate performance. This task is a block design with the potential option to analyze in an event related manner. It is intended as a localizer for encoding-related and retrieval-related neural processes.

The FACENAME task was adapted from:

Zeineh, M. M., Engel, S. A., Thompson, P. M., & Bookheimer, S. Y. (2003). Dynamics of the hippocampus during encoding and retrieval of face-name pairs. Science, 299(5606), 577–580. doi: 10.1126/science.1077775

Download Task Protocols used in the HCP-Aging study: 

Download (17.8MB zip file)

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