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Neuroimage. 2006 Feb 15;29(4):1192-202. Epub 2005 Oct 19.

Parallel networks operating across attentional deployment and motion processing: a multi-seed partial least squares fMRI study.

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The Rotman Research Institute-Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care, Toronto, ON, Canada M6A 2E1.


Anticipatory deployment of attention may operate through networks of brain areas that modulate the representations of to-be-attended items in advance of their occurrence through top-down control. Luks and Simpson (2004) (Luks, T.L., Simpson, G.V., 2004. Preparatory deployment of attention to motion activates higher order motion-processing brain regions. NeuroImage 22, 1515-1522) found activations in both control areas and sensory areas during anticipatory deployment of attention to visual motion in the absence of stimuli. In the present follow-up analysis, we tested which network activity during anticipatory deployment of attention is functionally connected with task-related network activity during subsequent selective processing of motion stimuli. Following a cue (anticipatory phase), participants monitored a sequence of complex motion stimuli for a target motion pattern (task phase). We analyzed fMR signal using a partial least squares analysis with previously identified cue- and motion-related voxels as seed regions. The method identified two networks that covaried with the activity of seed regions during the cue and motion-stimulus-processing phases of the task. We suggest that the first network, involving ventral intraparietal sulcus, superior parietal lobule and motor areas, is related to anticipatory and sustained visuomotor attention. Operating in parallel to this visuomotor attention network, there is a second network, involving visual occipital areas, frontal areas as well as angular and supramarginal gyri, that may underlie anticipatory and sustained visual attention processes.

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