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Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering
ISSN (Print): 2213-3852
ISSN (Online): 2213-3860
Epub Full Text Article
DOI: 10.2174/2213385202666140709104644      Price:  $95

An fMRI Study of the Neural Systems Involved in Visually Cued Tactile Top-Down Spatial and Temporal Attention

Author(s): Qiong Wu, Chunlin Li, Yujie Li, Hongzan Sun, Qiyong Guo and Jinglong Wu
Top-down attention to spatial and temporal cues has been thoroughly studied in the visual and auditory domains. However, the neural systems that are important for tactile top-down temporal attention (i.e., attention based on time interval cues) remain undefined. Thus, the differences in brain activity between directed attention to tactile spatial location and time intervals are unclear. We measured brain activity during a task in sixteen healthy volunteers with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The task manipulated cued attention to spatial locations (S) and temporal intervals (T) in a factorial design. Symbolic central cues oriented the subjects toward S only (left or right), toward T only (600 msec or 1800 msec), or toward both S and T simultaneously (no information was provided regarding S or T). The behavioral data indicated that the benefits and costs of performance during temporal attention were similar to those established for tactile spatial attention. The brain-imaging data revealed that both tasks activated right superior frontal gyrus, right middle frontal gyrus, the bilateral secondary somatosensory areas and bilateral middle temporal gyrus. Moreover, the spatial cue activated more strongly than temporal cue in bilateral middle temporal gyrus, while temporal cue activated more strongly than spatial cue in right middle frontal gyrus. Therefore, our results showed a partial overlap between neural systems involved in the performance of spatial versus temporal orientation of tactile attention tasks
Space, time, orienting of attention, fMRI, tactile attention
The Graduate School of Natural Science and Technology, Okayama University, Okayama 700-8530, Japan