Experience sampling reveals the role that covert goal states play in task-relevant behavior.
Anonymized Multidimensional Experience Sampling data and Gradient coordinates used in the analysis reported in Mckeown et al. (2023), "Experience sampling reveals the role that covert goal states play in task-relevant behavior". Summary: Cognitive neuroscience has gained insight into covert states using experience sampling. Traditionally, this approach has focused on off-task states, however, task-relevant states are also maintained via covert processes. Our study examined whether experience sampling can also provide insights into covert goal-relevant states that support task performance. To address this question, we developed a neural state-space, using dimensions of brain function variation, that allows neural correlates of overt and covert states to be examined in a common analytic space. We use this to describe brain activity during task performance, its relation to covert states identified via experience sampling, and links between individual variation in overt and covert states and task performance. Our study established activity patterns within association cortex emphasizing the fronto-parietal network both during target detection and a covert state of deliberate task focus which was associated with better task performance. In contrast, periods of vigilance and a covert off-task state were both linked to activity patterns emphasizing the default mode network. Our study shows experience sampling can not only describe covert states that are unrelated to the task at hand, but can also be used to highlight the role fronto-parietal regions play in the maintenance of covert task-relevant states. 'n57_scanner_mdes_PCA_gradients_demographics_movement_mendeley_anon.csv' contains all anonymized experience-sampling, PCA, gradient, demographics, and movement data for the 57 participants reported in the main analyses. 'n46_lab_and_scanner_PCA_mendeley_anon.csv' contains all anonymized lab and scanner PCA scores for the 46 participants that participated in both sessions (supplementary analysis).