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Orienting attention to semantic categories.

Cristescu TC, Devlin JT, Nobre AC - Neuroimage (2006)

Bottom Line: Semantic orienting significantly shortened response times to identify word stimuli, showing that it is possible to focus attention on non-perceptual attributes of stimuli to enhance behavioral performance.Semantic-orienting cues engaged parietal and frontal areas that were also involved in spatial orienting, but in addition engaged brain areas associated with semantic analysis of words, such as the left anterior inferior frontal cortex.They also support the existence of a core frontoparietal network, which controls attentional orienting in speeded response tasks independently of the type of expectations, interacting with task-relevant functionally specialized areas to optimize perception and action.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: University of Oxford, Department of Experimental Psychology, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3UD, UK.

ABSTRACT
We investigated the ability to orient attention to a complex, non-perceptual attribute of stimuli-semantic category. Behavioral consequences and neural correlates of semantic orienting were revealed and compared with those of spatial orienting, using event-related functional magnetic-resonance imaging. Semantic orienting significantly shortened response times to identify word stimuli, showing that it is possible to focus attention on non-perceptual attributes of stimuli to enhance behavioral performance. Semantic-orienting cues engaged parietal and frontal areas that were also involved in spatial orienting, but in addition engaged brain areas associated with semantic analysis of words, such as the left anterior inferior frontal cortex. These findings show that attentional orienting selectively engages brain areas with functional specialization for the predicted attributes. They also support the existence of a core frontoparietal network, which controls attentional orienting in speeded response tasks independently of the type of expectations, interacting with task-relevant functionally specialized areas to optimize perception and action.

Show MeSH
Brain areas activated in common by semantic and spatial orienting cues. Semantic and spatial cues commonly activated left frontal areas in lateral premotor cortex including FEF (1) and pre-SMA (2); posterior parietal areas in left intraparietal sulcus and superior parietal lobule (3) and right intraparietal sulcus (4); and visual cortex (5 and 6). Activations are shown superimposed on a representative brain volume normalized to the standardized brain (MRICro) in this and subsequent figures, using neurological convention (left = left).
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fig2: Brain areas activated in common by semantic and spatial orienting cues. Semantic and spatial cues commonly activated left frontal areas in lateral premotor cortex including FEF (1) and pre-SMA (2); posterior parietal areas in left intraparietal sulcus and superior parietal lobule (3) and right intraparietal sulcus (4); and visual cortex (5 and 6). Activations are shown superimposed on a representative brain volume normalized to the standardized brain (MRICro) in this and subsequent figures, using neurological convention (left = left).

Mentions: Reaction times (RTs) for each of the experimental conditions are shown in Fig. 2. The RT analysis revealed a main effect of cue validity [F(2,14) = 6.71, p = .009]. Follow-up pairwise comparisons showed that validly cued words elicited significantly shorter RTs (670 ms) than invalidly cued words (748 ms) [F(1,7) = 19.61, p = .003]. RTs to neutrally cued words were intermediate (712 ms) and did not differ significantly from RTs to validly or invalidly cued words. There was no main effect of cue type, suggesting similar performance in the semantic and spatial orienting conditions in the first experiment (Fig. 2).


Orienting attention to semantic categories.

Cristescu TC, Devlin JT, Nobre AC - Neuroimage (2006)

Brain areas activated in common by semantic and spatial orienting cues. Semantic and spatial cues commonly activated left frontal areas in lateral premotor cortex including FEF (1) and pre-SMA (2); posterior parietal areas in left intraparietal sulcus and superior parietal lobule (3) and right intraparietal sulcus (4); and visual cortex (5 and 6). Activations are shown superimposed on a representative brain volume normalized to the standardized brain (MRICro) in this and subsequent figures, using neurological convention (left = left).
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Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2651199&req=5

fig2: Brain areas activated in common by semantic and spatial orienting cues. Semantic and spatial cues commonly activated left frontal areas in lateral premotor cortex including FEF (1) and pre-SMA (2); posterior parietal areas in left intraparietal sulcus and superior parietal lobule (3) and right intraparietal sulcus (4); and visual cortex (5 and 6). Activations are shown superimposed on a representative brain volume normalized to the standardized brain (MRICro) in this and subsequent figures, using neurological convention (left = left).
Mentions: Reaction times (RTs) for each of the experimental conditions are shown in Fig. 2. The RT analysis revealed a main effect of cue validity [F(2,14) = 6.71, p = .009]. Follow-up pairwise comparisons showed that validly cued words elicited significantly shorter RTs (670 ms) than invalidly cued words (748 ms) [F(1,7) = 19.61, p = .003]. RTs to neutrally cued words were intermediate (712 ms) and did not differ significantly from RTs to validly or invalidly cued words. There was no main effect of cue type, suggesting similar performance in the semantic and spatial orienting conditions in the first experiment (Fig. 2).

Bottom Line: Semantic orienting significantly shortened response times to identify word stimuli, showing that it is possible to focus attention on non-perceptual attributes of stimuli to enhance behavioral performance.Semantic-orienting cues engaged parietal and frontal areas that were also involved in spatial orienting, but in addition engaged brain areas associated with semantic analysis of words, such as the left anterior inferior frontal cortex.They also support the existence of a core frontoparietal network, which controls attentional orienting in speeded response tasks independently of the type of expectations, interacting with task-relevant functionally specialized areas to optimize perception and action.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: University of Oxford, Department of Experimental Psychology, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3UD, UK.

ABSTRACT
We investigated the ability to orient attention to a complex, non-perceptual attribute of stimuli-semantic category. Behavioral consequences and neural correlates of semantic orienting were revealed and compared with those of spatial orienting, using event-related functional magnetic-resonance imaging. Semantic orienting significantly shortened response times to identify word stimuli, showing that it is possible to focus attention on non-perceptual attributes of stimuli to enhance behavioral performance. Semantic-orienting cues engaged parietal and frontal areas that were also involved in spatial orienting, but in addition engaged brain areas associated with semantic analysis of words, such as the left anterior inferior frontal cortex. These findings show that attentional orienting selectively engages brain areas with functional specialization for the predicted attributes. They also support the existence of a core frontoparietal network, which controls attentional orienting in speeded response tasks independently of the type of expectations, interacting with task-relevant functionally specialized areas to optimize perception and action.

Show MeSH