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Brain Areas Specific for Attentional Load in a Motion-Tracking Task

Jovicich, Jorge and Peters, Robert J. and Koch, Christof and Braun, Jochen and Chang, Linda and Ernst, Thomas (2001) Brain Areas Specific for Attentional Load in a Motion-Tracking Task. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 13 (8). pp. 1048-1058. ISSN 0898-929X.

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Although visual attention is known to modulate brain activity in the posterior parietal, prefrontal, and visual sensory areas, the unique roles of these areas in the control of attentional resources have remained unclear. Here, we report a dissociation in the response profiles of these areas. In a parametric functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, subjects performed a covert motion-tracking task, in which we manipulated “attentional load” by varying the number of tracked balls. While strong effects of attention—independent of attentional load—were widespread, robust linear increases of brain activity with number of balls tracked were seen primarily in the posterior parietal areas, including the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) and superior parietal lobule (SPL). Thus, variations in attentional load revealed different response profiles in sensory areas as compared to control areas. Our results suggest a general role for posterior parietal areas in the deployment of visual attentional resources.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Peters, Robert J.0000-0003-4691-8477
Koch, Christof0000-0001-6482-8067
Additional Information:© 2001 Massachusetts Institute of Technology. We wish to thank G. Rees and N. Kanwisher for very helpful discussions and G. Rees and D. Dubowitz for careful reading. This work was supported by funds from the W.M. Keck Foundation Fund for Discovery in Basic Medical Research at Caltech, the National Science Foundation through its Engineering Research Center at Caltech, the National Institute of Mental Health (1R01 MH61427-01), the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and by the NIDA (Scientist Development Award for Clinicians for L.C., 5 K20 DA00280).
Group:Koch Laboratory (KLAB)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
W.M. Keck Foundation Fund for Discovery in Basic Medical ResearchUNSPECIFIED
Engineering Research Center at CaltechUNSPECIFIED
National Institute of Mental Health1R01 MH61427-01
Howard Hughes Medical InstituteUNSPECIFIED
NIDA (Scientist Development Award for Clinicians5 K20 DA00280
Issue or Number:8
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130816-103202034
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:40421
Deposited By: KLAB Import
Deposited On:11 Jan 2008 22:57
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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