Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Neuroimage. 2003 Mar;18(3):633-41.

The posterior cingulate and medial prefrontal cortex mediate the anticipatory allocation of spatial attention.

Author information

Northwestern University Brain Mapping Group and Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.


The purpose of this study was to identify brain regions underlying internally generated anticipatory biases toward locations where significant events are expected to occur. Subjects fixated centrally and responded to peripheral targets preceded by a spatially valid (predictive), invalid (misleading), or neutral central cue while undergoing fMRI scanning. In some validly cued trials, reaction time was significantly shorter than in trials with neutral cues, indicating that the cue had successfully induced a spatial redistribution of motivational valence, manifested as expectancy. The largest cue benefits led to selectively greater activations within the posterior cingulate and medial prefrontal cortex. These two areas thus appear to establish a neural interface between attention and motivation. An inverse relationship to cue benefit was seen in the parietal cortex, suggesting that spatial expectancy may entail the inhibition of attention-related areas to reduce distractibility by events at irrelevant locations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center