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Neuroimage. 1999 Aug;10(2):193-9.

Transient neural activity in the medial superior frontal gyrus and precuneus time locked with attention shift between object features.

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  • 1Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto University, 54 Shogoin Kawahara-cho, Sakyo, Kyoto, 606-8507, Japan.


To investigate the contribution of the superior frontal gyrus and precuneus to the cognitive process of attention set shift, we examined the correlation between change in neural activity in these areas and the timing of attention set shift using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging. Seven subjects underwent a card-sorting task in which they matched a test card to one of two target cards according to color or shape. The subjects had to determine the correct category based only on feedback and shift the sorting principle when the feedback changed from "correct" to "incorrect." Transient increase of neural activity time locked with attention shift phases was detected in the medial superior frontal gyrus (the rostral part of the supplementary motor area) and precuneus. During the control task, in which the feedback and the motor responses were preserved without any attention shift, this type of change in neural activity was not observed. Our findings indicate that increase in neural activity in these brain areas may be closely related to attention set shift between object features and suggest that these areas may play a role in the shifting of cognitive sets.

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