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J Neurosci. 2010 Jul 21;30(29):9910-8. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1111-10.2010.

The human basal ganglia modulate frontal-posterior connectivity during attention shifting.

Author information

1
Radboud University Nijmegen, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behaviour, Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging, 6500 HB, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. martine.vanschouwenburg@donders.ru.nl

Abstract

Current models of flexible cognitive control emphasize the role of the prefrontal cortex. This region has been shown to control attention by biasing information processing in favor of task-relevant representations. However, the prefrontal cortex does not act in isolation. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging combined with nonlinear dynamic causal modeling to demonstrate that the basal ganglia play a role in modulating the top-down influence of the prefrontal cortex on visual processing in humans. Specifically, our results reveal that connectivity between the prefrontal cortex and stimulus-specific visual association areas depends on activity in the ventral striatopallidum, elicited by salient events leading to shifts in attention. These data integrate disparate literatures on top-down control by the prefrontal cortex and selective gating by the basal ganglia and highlight the importance of the basal ganglia for high-level cognitive control.

PMID:
20660273
DOI:
10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1111-10.2010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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