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Cereb Cortex. 2018 Feb 1;28(2):549-560. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhw389.

Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Attention Networks Revealed by Representational Similarity Analysis of EEG and fMRI.

Salmela V1,2, Salo E1,2, Salmi J1,2,3, Alho K1,2.

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Division of Cognitive Psychology and Neuropsychology, Institute of Behavioral Sciences, University of Helsinki, FI-00014 Helsinki, Finland.
Advanced Magnetic Imaging Centre, Aalto NeuroImaging, Aalto University, Espoo FI-00076, Finland.
Faculty of Arts, Psychology and Theology, Åbo Akademi University, FI-20500 Turku, Finland.


The fronto-parietal attention networks have been extensively studied with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), but spatiotemporal dynamics of these networks are not well understood. We measured event-related potentials (ERPs) with electroencephalography (EEG) and collected fMRI data from identical experiments where participants performed visual and auditory discrimination tasks separately or simultaneously and with or without distractors. To overcome the low temporal resolution of fMRI, we used a novel ERP-based application of multivariate representational similarity analysis (RSA) to parse time-averaged fMRI pattern activity into distinct spatial maps that each corresponded, in representational structure, to a short temporal ERP segment. Discriminant analysis of ERP-fMRI correlations revealed 8 cortical networks-2 sensory, 3 attention, and 3 other-segregated by 4 orthogonal, temporally multifaceted and spatially distributed functions. We interpret these functions as 4 spatiotemporal components of attention: modality-dependent and stimulus-driven orienting, top-down control, mode transition, and response preparation, selection and execution.


EEG; attention; brain networks; fMRI; representational similarity analysis


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