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Cereb Cortex. 2007 Nov;17(11):2625-33. Epub 2007 Jan 30.

Right TPJ deactivation during visual search: functional significance and support for a filter hypothesis.

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1
Department of Neurology, Washington University, St Louis, MO 63110, USA. gordon@npg.wustl.edu

Abstract

Behavioral performance depends on attending to important objects in the environment rather than irrelevant objects. Regions in the right temporal-parietal junction (TPJ) are thought to be involved in redirecting attention to new objects that are behaviorally relevant. When subjects monitor a stream of distracter objects for a target, TPJ deactivates until the target is detected. We have proposed that the deactivation reflects the filtering of irrelevant inputs from TPJ, preventing unimportant objects from being attended. This hypothesis predicts that the mean deactivation to distracters should be larger when the subsequent target is detected than missed, reflecting more efficient filtering. An analysis of the blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) task-evoked signals from 20 subjects during 2 monitoring tasks confirmed this prediction for regions in right supramarginal gyrus (SMG). Because the deactivation preceded the target, this mean BOLD-detection relationship did not reflect feedback from target detection or postdetection processes. The SMG regions showing this relationship overlapped or neighbored some regions associated with a "default" mode of brain function, suggesting the functional significance of deactivations in some default regions during task performance.

PMID:
17264254
DOI:
10.1093/cercor/bhl170
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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