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Cereb Cortex. 2008 Sep;18(9):2158-68. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhm242. Epub 2008 Jan 29.

Retinotopy and attention in human occipital, temporal, parietal, and frontal cortex.

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Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, London, UK.


Novel mapping stimuli composed of biological motion figures were used to study the extent and layout of multiple retinotopic regions in the entire human brain and to examine the independent manipulation of retinotopic responses by visual stimuli and by attention. A number of areas exhibited retinotopic activations, including full or partial visual field representations in occipital cortex, the precuneus, motion-sensitive temporal cortex (extending into the superior temporal sulcus), the intraparietal sulcus, and the vicinity of the frontal eye fields in frontal cortex. Early visual areas showed mainly stimulus-driven retinotopy; parietal and frontal areas were driven primarily by attention; and lateral temporal regions could be driven by both. We found clear spatial specificity of attentional modulation not just in early visual areas but also in classical attentional control areas in parietal and frontal cortex. Indeed, strong spatiotopic activity in these areas could be evoked by directed attention alone. Conversely, motion-sensitive temporal regions, while exhibiting attentional modulation, also responded significantly when attention was directed away from the retinotopic stimuli.

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