The task-positive network (TPN) is a network of areas in the human brain that typically responds with activation increases to attention-demanding tasks in functional imaging studies. The task-positive network encompasses regions of the dorsal attention system, but in addition includes dorsolateral and ventrolateral prefrontal regions, the insular cortex, and the SMA/pre-SMA. Recent work indicates that the cerebellum may participate in this network as well. Notably, the nodes of this network are also correlated during rest (i.e., in the absence of any task). The task-positive network is anti-correlated with the default mode network. Competing activation between the task-positive network and the default mode network at the time of memory encoding has been shown to result in poor long-term memory consolidation.
During rest the TPN has been claimed to subserve intermittent "external awareness", defined as the conscious perception through different sensory modalities of one's surrounding environment[further explanation needed].
During performance of attention-demanding tasks, prefrontal and parietal structures comprising the task-positive network are characterized by increases in activation; in contrast, default mode network structures, including posterior cingulate[further explanation needed] and medial prefrontal cortices, are characterized by decreased activity. During wakeful rest, the opposite pattern emerges, with the default mode network becoming more active and the task-positive network less active.
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