5 years ago

Neural correlates underlying the attentional spotlight in human parietal cortex independent of task difficulty

Qi Chen, Ralph Weidner, Hang Zeng, Gereon R. Fink
Changes in the size of the attentional focus and task difficulty often co-vary. Nevertheless, the neural processes underlying the attentional spotlight process and task difficulty are likely to differ from each other. To differentiate between the two, we parametrically varied the size of the attentional focus in a novel behavioral paradigm while keeping visual processing difficulty either constant or not. A behavioral control experiment proved that the present behavioral paradigm could indeed effectively manipulate the size of the attentional focus per se, rather than affecting purely perceptual processes or surface processing. Imaging results showed that neural activity in a dorsal frontoparietal network, including right superior parietal cortex (SPL), was positively correlated with the size of the attentional spotlight, irrespective of whether task difficulty was constant or varied across different sizes of attentional focus. In contrast, neural activity in the ventral frontoparietal network, including the right inferior parietal cortex (IPL), was positively correlated with increasing task difficulty. Data suggest that sub-regions in parietal cortex are differentially involved in the attentional spotlight process and task difficulty: while SPL was involved in the attentional spotlight process independent of task difficulty, IPL was involved in the effect of task difficulty independent of the attentional spotlight process. Hum Brain Mapp 38:4996–5018, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/hbm.23709

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.