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Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2001 Aug;25(6):465-76.

Mechanisms of human attention: event-related potentials and oscillations.

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Max Planck Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, D-04303, Leipzig, Germany.


Electrophysiological and hemodynamical responses of the brain allow investigation of the neural origins of human attention. We review attention-related brain responses from auditory and visual tasks employing oddball and novelty paradigms. Dipole localization and intracranial recordings as well as functional magnetic resonance imaging reveal multiple areas involved in generating and modulating attentional brain responses. In addition, the influence of brain lesions of circumscribed areas of the human cortex onto attentional mechanisms are reviewed. While it is obvious that damaged brain tissue no longer functions properly, it has also been shown that functions of non-lesioned brain areas are impaired due to loss of modulatory influence of the lesioned area. Both early (P1 and N1) and late (P3) event-related potentials are modulated by excitatatory and inhibitory mechanisms. Oscillatory EEG-correlates of attention in the alpha and gamma frequency range also show attentional modulation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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