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Disentangling the attention network test: behavioral, event related potentials, and neural source analyses.

Galvao-Carmona A, González-Rosa JJ, Hidalgo-Muñoz AR, Páramo D, Benítez ML, Izquierdo G, Vázquez-Marrufo M - Front Hum Neurosci (2014)

Bottom Line: Finally, the first component in the information processing of the target stimuli modulated by the interaction between orienting network and the executive system can be represented by N1.The ANT is useful as a paradigm to study specific attentional mechanisms and their interactions.However, calculation of network effects is based in subtractions with non-comparable experimental conditions, as evidenced by the present data, which can induce misinterpretations in the study of the attentional capacity in human subjects.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Psychophysiology Unit (Lab B508), Department of Experimental Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, University of Seville Seville, Spain.

ABSTRACT

Background: The study of the attentional system remains a challenge for current neuroscience. The "Attention Network Test" (ANT) was designed to study simultaneously three different attentional networks (alerting, orienting, and executive) based in subtraction of different experimental conditions. However, some studies recommend caution with these calculations due to the interactions between the attentional networks. In particular, it is highly relevant that several interpretations about attentional impairment have arisen from these calculations in diverse pathologies. Event related potentials (ERPs) and neural source analysis can be applied to disentangle the relationships between these attentional networks not specifically shown by behavioral measures.

Results: This study shows that there is a basic level of alerting (tonic alerting) in the no cue (NC) condition, represented by a slow negative trend in the ERP trace prior to the onset of the target stimuli. A progressive increase in the CNV amplitude related to the amount of information provided by the cue conditions is also shown. Neural source analysis reveals specific modulations of the CNV related to a task-related expectancy presented in the NC condition; a late modulation triggered by the central cue (CC) condition and probably representing a generic motor preparation; and an early and late modulation for spatial cue (SC) condition suggesting specific motor and sensory preactivation. Finally, the first component in the information processing of the target stimuli modulated by the interaction between orienting network and the executive system can be represented by N1.

Conclusions: The ANT is useful as a paradigm to study specific attentional mechanisms and their interactions. However, calculation of network effects is based in subtractions with non-comparable experimental conditions, as evidenced by the present data, which can induce misinterpretations in the study of the attentional capacity in human subjects.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Experimental procedure. Possible combinations of sets of cues and targets were six: no cue congruent (NC-C), no cue incongruent (NC-I), central cue congruent (CC-C), central cue incongruent (CC-I), spatial cue congruent (SC-C), and spatial cue incongruent (SC-I). Abbreviation: ms, milliseconds.
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Figure 1: Experimental procedure. Possible combinations of sets of cues and targets were six: no cue congruent (NC-C), no cue incongruent (NC-I), central cue congruent (CC-C), central cue incongruent (CC-I), spatial cue congruent (SC-C), and spatial cue incongruent (SC-I). Abbreviation: ms, milliseconds.

Mentions: The ANT was used as per the original authors (Fan et al., 2002). Stimuli consisted of a row of 5 horizontal white lines, with arrowheads pointing left or right, against a black background (see Figure 1). There were two types of target stimuli: a congruent target (C), when the central arrow was flanked by other arrows pointing in the same direction, and an incongruent target (I), when the flanking arrows pointed in opposite directions. Target stimuli represented a total visual angle of 3.28 on the x axis and 0.41 on the y axis. The congruent and incongruent trials occurred in equal proportions. Under each condition (congruent or incongruent), half were pointing to the left and half to the right. The subject's task was to indicate the direction of the central arrow by pressing the left button/arrow pointing to the left with the left thumb, or the right button/arrow pointing to the right with the right thumb. The target was presented in one of two locations, either 0.86 above or below the fixation cross in the center of the display, the cross appearing in the center of the visual display throughout the entire experiment. To engage the alerting and orienting processes, a cue (an asterisk symbol) was shown before the appearance of target. There were three cue conditions: NC, CC (at the fixation cross for alerting), and SC (at the target location for alerting plus orienting). All cues occurred in the same proportions. Cues were displayed with a visual angle of 0.41 on the x axis and 0.41 on the y axis. In the NC condition, a black square the same size as the cue was shown (not visible to the subjects) to adapt all the timings for the different cue conditions and make them comparable for ERPs analysis. As a result of the combination of target and cue conditions, the following six conditions were applied: no cue congruent (NC-C), no cue incongruent (NC-I), central cue congruent (CC-C), central cue incongruent (CC-I), spatial cue congruent (SC-C), and spatial cue incongruent (SC-I).


Disentangling the attention network test: behavioral, event related potentials, and neural source analyses.

Galvao-Carmona A, González-Rosa JJ, Hidalgo-Muñoz AR, Páramo D, Benítez ML, Izquierdo G, Vázquez-Marrufo M - Front Hum Neurosci (2014)

Experimental procedure. Possible combinations of sets of cues and targets were six: no cue congruent (NC-C), no cue incongruent (NC-I), central cue congruent (CC-C), central cue incongruent (CC-I), spatial cue congruent (SC-C), and spatial cue incongruent (SC-I). Abbreviation: ms, milliseconds.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4195286&req=5

Figure 1: Experimental procedure. Possible combinations of sets of cues and targets were six: no cue congruent (NC-C), no cue incongruent (NC-I), central cue congruent (CC-C), central cue incongruent (CC-I), spatial cue congruent (SC-C), and spatial cue incongruent (SC-I). Abbreviation: ms, milliseconds.
Mentions: The ANT was used as per the original authors (Fan et al., 2002). Stimuli consisted of a row of 5 horizontal white lines, with arrowheads pointing left or right, against a black background (see Figure 1). There were two types of target stimuli: a congruent target (C), when the central arrow was flanked by other arrows pointing in the same direction, and an incongruent target (I), when the flanking arrows pointed in opposite directions. Target stimuli represented a total visual angle of 3.28 on the x axis and 0.41 on the y axis. The congruent and incongruent trials occurred in equal proportions. Under each condition (congruent or incongruent), half were pointing to the left and half to the right. The subject's task was to indicate the direction of the central arrow by pressing the left button/arrow pointing to the left with the left thumb, or the right button/arrow pointing to the right with the right thumb. The target was presented in one of two locations, either 0.86 above or below the fixation cross in the center of the display, the cross appearing in the center of the visual display throughout the entire experiment. To engage the alerting and orienting processes, a cue (an asterisk symbol) was shown before the appearance of target. There were three cue conditions: NC, CC (at the fixation cross for alerting), and SC (at the target location for alerting plus orienting). All cues occurred in the same proportions. Cues were displayed with a visual angle of 0.41 on the x axis and 0.41 on the y axis. In the NC condition, a black square the same size as the cue was shown (not visible to the subjects) to adapt all the timings for the different cue conditions and make them comparable for ERPs analysis. As a result of the combination of target and cue conditions, the following six conditions were applied: no cue congruent (NC-C), no cue incongruent (NC-I), central cue congruent (CC-C), central cue incongruent (CC-I), spatial cue congruent (SC-C), and spatial cue incongruent (SC-I).

Bottom Line: Finally, the first component in the information processing of the target stimuli modulated by the interaction between orienting network and the executive system can be represented by N1.The ANT is useful as a paradigm to study specific attentional mechanisms and their interactions.However, calculation of network effects is based in subtractions with non-comparable experimental conditions, as evidenced by the present data, which can induce misinterpretations in the study of the attentional capacity in human subjects.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Psychophysiology Unit (Lab B508), Department of Experimental Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, University of Seville Seville, Spain.

ABSTRACT

Background: The study of the attentional system remains a challenge for current neuroscience. The "Attention Network Test" (ANT) was designed to study simultaneously three different attentional networks (alerting, orienting, and executive) based in subtraction of different experimental conditions. However, some studies recommend caution with these calculations due to the interactions between the attentional networks. In particular, it is highly relevant that several interpretations about attentional impairment have arisen from these calculations in diverse pathologies. Event related potentials (ERPs) and neural source analysis can be applied to disentangle the relationships between these attentional networks not specifically shown by behavioral measures.

Results: This study shows that there is a basic level of alerting (tonic alerting) in the no cue (NC) condition, represented by a slow negative trend in the ERP trace prior to the onset of the target stimuli. A progressive increase in the CNV amplitude related to the amount of information provided by the cue conditions is also shown. Neural source analysis reveals specific modulations of the CNV related to a task-related expectancy presented in the NC condition; a late modulation triggered by the central cue (CC) condition and probably representing a generic motor preparation; and an early and late modulation for spatial cue (SC) condition suggesting specific motor and sensory preactivation. Finally, the first component in the information processing of the target stimuli modulated by the interaction between orienting network and the executive system can be represented by N1.

Conclusions: The ANT is useful as a paradigm to study specific attentional mechanisms and their interactions. However, calculation of network effects is based in subtractions with non-comparable experimental conditions, as evidenced by the present data, which can induce misinterpretations in the study of the attentional capacity in human subjects.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus