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Neuroimage. 2006 Sep;32(3):1257-64. Epub 2006 Jul 17.

Cue validity modulates the neural correlates of covert endogenous orienting of attention in parietal and frontal cortex.

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Institute of Medicine, Research Centre Jülich, 52425 Jülich, Germany.


Parietal brain regions have been implicated in reorienting of visuospatial attention in location-cueing paradigms when misleading advance information is provided in form of a spatially invalid cue. The difference in reaction times to invalidly and validly cued targets is termed the "validity effect" and used as a behavioral measure for attentional reorienting. Behavioral studies suggest that the magnitude of the validity effect depends on the ratio of validly to invalidly cued targets (termed cue validity), i.e., on the amount of top-down information provided. Using fMRI, we investigated the effects of a cue validity manipulation upon the neural mechanisms underlying attentional reorienting using valid and invalid spatial cues in the context of 90% and 60% cue validity, respectively. We hypothesized that increased parietal activation would be elicited when subjects need to reorient their attention in a context of high cue validity. Behaviorally, subjects showed significantly higher validity effects in the high as compared to the low cue validity condition, indicating slower reorienting. The neuroimaging data revealed higher activation of right inferior parietal and right frontal cortex in the 90% than in the 60% cue validity condition. We conclude that the amount of top-down information provided by predictive cues influences the neural correlates of reorienting of visuospatial attention by modulating activation of a right fronto-parietal attentional network.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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