Send to

Choose Destination
J Neurosci. 2011 Sep 28;31(39):13880-9. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1519-10.2011.

Dynamic activation of frontal, parietal, and sensory regions underlying anticipatory visual spatial attention.

Author information

Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94143, USA.


Although it is well established that multiple frontal, parietal, and occipital regions in humans are involved in anticipatory deployment of visual spatial attention, less is known about the electrophysiological signals in each region across multiple subsecond periods of attentional deployment. We used MEG measures of cortical stimulus-locked, signal-averaged (event-related field) activity during a task in which a symbolic cue directed covert attention to the relevant location on each trial. Direction-specific attention effects occurred in different cortical regions for each of multiple time periods during the delay between the cue and imperative stimulus. A sequence of activation from V1/V2 to extrastriate, parietal, and frontal regions occurred within 110 ms after cue, possibly related to extraction of cue meaning. Direction-specific activations ∼300 ms after cue in frontal eye field (FEF), lateral intraparietal area (LIP), and cuneus support early covert targeting of the cued location. This was followed by coactivation of a frontal-parietal system [superior frontal gyrus (SFG), middle frontal gyrus (MFG), LIP, anterior intraparietal sulcus (IPSa)] that may coordinate the transition from targeting the cued location to sustained deployment of attention to both space and feature in the last period. The last period involved direction-specific activity in parietal regions and both dorsal and ventral sensory regions [LIP, IPSa, ventral IPS, lateral occipital region, and fusiform gyrus], which was accompanied by activation that was not direction specific in right hemisphere frontal regions (FEF, SFG, MFG). Behavioral performance corresponded with the magnitude of attention-related activity in different brain regions at each time period during deployment. The results add to the emerging electrophysiological characterization of different cortical networks that operate during anticipatory deployment of visual spatial attention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center