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Frontoparietal Structural Connectivity Mediates the Top-Down Control of Neuronal Synchronization Associated with Selective Attention.

Marshall TR, Bergmann TO, Jensen O - PLoS Biol. (2015)

Bottom Line: We then quantified the modulations in oscillatory activity using magnetoencephalography in the same subjects performing a spatial attention task.We found that subjects with a stronger SLF volume in the right compared to the left hemisphere (or vice versa) also were the subjects who had a better ability to modulate right compared to left hemisphere alpha and gamma band synchronization, with the latter also predicting biases in reaction time.Our findings implicate the medial branch of the SLF in mediating top-down control of neuronal synchronization in sensory regions that support selective attention.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
Neuronal synchronization reflected by oscillatory brain activity has been strongly implicated in the mechanisms supporting selective gating. We here aimed at identifying the anatomical pathways in humans supporting the top-down control of neuronal synchronization. We first collected diffusion imaging data using magnetic resonance imaging to identify the medial branch of the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF), a white-matter tract connecting frontal control areas to parietal regions. We then quantified the modulations in oscillatory activity using magnetoencephalography in the same subjects performing a spatial attention task. We found that subjects with a stronger SLF volume in the right compared to the left hemisphere (or vice versa) also were the subjects who had a better ability to modulate right compared to left hemisphere alpha and gamma band synchronization, with the latter also predicting biases in reaction time. Our findings implicate the medial branch of the SLF in mediating top-down control of neuronal synchronization in sensory regions that support selective attention.

No MeSH data available.


(A) Experimental paradigm. Each trial began with one of four visual cues, instructing the subject either to attend to the left luminance pedestal, the right luminance pedestal, to both luminance pedestals, or to passively fixate. After a 1.5 s fixed interval, a pair of Gabor patches appeared in both luminance pedestals. One Gabor patch was always diagonally oriented (45° clockwise or counterclockwise from vertical), and the other cardinally oriented (horizontal or vertical). In the "attend left" and "attend right" conditions, the diagonal patch appeared respectively in the left or right pedestal; in the "attend both" and "attend neither" conditions, location of the diagonal patch was random. Subjects had to discriminate the orientation of the diagonal patch. (B) Analysis of behavioral data revealed that spatial cueing significantly improved both reaction time and accuracy, whereas target hemifield did not alter reaction time or accuracy.
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pbio.1002272.g001: (A) Experimental paradigm. Each trial began with one of four visual cues, instructing the subject either to attend to the left luminance pedestal, the right luminance pedestal, to both luminance pedestals, or to passively fixate. After a 1.5 s fixed interval, a pair of Gabor patches appeared in both luminance pedestals. One Gabor patch was always diagonally oriented (45° clockwise or counterclockwise from vertical), and the other cardinally oriented (horizontal or vertical). In the "attend left" and "attend right" conditions, the diagonal patch appeared respectively in the left or right pedestal; in the "attend both" and "attend neither" conditions, location of the diagonal patch was random. Subjects had to discriminate the orientation of the diagonal patch. (B) Analysis of behavioral data revealed that spatial cueing significantly improved both reaction time and accuracy, whereas target hemifield did not alter reaction time or accuracy.

Mentions: We acquired data from 26 subjects. These subjects performed a cued attention task in the MEG requiring shifts of attention to the left, right, or to both visual hemifields in order to identify the orientation of an upcoming target grating briefly presented 1,500 ms after the cue (Fig 1A). A second grating was always concurrently presented in the unattended hemifield. Analysis of the behavioral data using repeated-measures ANOVA confirmed that spatial cueing improved both accuracy and reaction time, respectively by 10% and 76 ms (Fig 1B; accuracy: F(1,25) = 42.077, p < 10−6; reaction time: F(1,25) = 110.114, p < 10−9). Direction of attention did not significantly alter these variables, and no interaction of direction with cueing was observed (p > 0.05 in all cases).


Frontoparietal Structural Connectivity Mediates the Top-Down Control of Neuronal Synchronization Associated with Selective Attention.

Marshall TR, Bergmann TO, Jensen O - PLoS Biol. (2015)

(A) Experimental paradigm. Each trial began with one of four visual cues, instructing the subject either to attend to the left luminance pedestal, the right luminance pedestal, to both luminance pedestals, or to passively fixate. After a 1.5 s fixed interval, a pair of Gabor patches appeared in both luminance pedestals. One Gabor patch was always diagonally oriented (45° clockwise or counterclockwise from vertical), and the other cardinally oriented (horizontal or vertical). In the "attend left" and "attend right" conditions, the diagonal patch appeared respectively in the left or right pedestal; in the "attend both" and "attend neither" conditions, location of the diagonal patch was random. Subjects had to discriminate the orientation of the diagonal patch. (B) Analysis of behavioral data revealed that spatial cueing significantly improved both reaction time and accuracy, whereas target hemifield did not alter reaction time or accuracy.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4595220&req=5

pbio.1002272.g001: (A) Experimental paradigm. Each trial began with one of four visual cues, instructing the subject either to attend to the left luminance pedestal, the right luminance pedestal, to both luminance pedestals, or to passively fixate. After a 1.5 s fixed interval, a pair of Gabor patches appeared in both luminance pedestals. One Gabor patch was always diagonally oriented (45° clockwise or counterclockwise from vertical), and the other cardinally oriented (horizontal or vertical). In the "attend left" and "attend right" conditions, the diagonal patch appeared respectively in the left or right pedestal; in the "attend both" and "attend neither" conditions, location of the diagonal patch was random. Subjects had to discriminate the orientation of the diagonal patch. (B) Analysis of behavioral data revealed that spatial cueing significantly improved both reaction time and accuracy, whereas target hemifield did not alter reaction time or accuracy.
Mentions: We acquired data from 26 subjects. These subjects performed a cued attention task in the MEG requiring shifts of attention to the left, right, or to both visual hemifields in order to identify the orientation of an upcoming target grating briefly presented 1,500 ms after the cue (Fig 1A). A second grating was always concurrently presented in the unattended hemifield. Analysis of the behavioral data using repeated-measures ANOVA confirmed that spatial cueing improved both accuracy and reaction time, respectively by 10% and 76 ms (Fig 1B; accuracy: F(1,25) = 42.077, p < 10−6; reaction time: F(1,25) = 110.114, p < 10−9). Direction of attention did not significantly alter these variables, and no interaction of direction with cueing was observed (p > 0.05 in all cases).

Bottom Line: We then quantified the modulations in oscillatory activity using magnetoencephalography in the same subjects performing a spatial attention task.We found that subjects with a stronger SLF volume in the right compared to the left hemisphere (or vice versa) also were the subjects who had a better ability to modulate right compared to left hemisphere alpha and gamma band synchronization, with the latter also predicting biases in reaction time.Our findings implicate the medial branch of the SLF in mediating top-down control of neuronal synchronization in sensory regions that support selective attention.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
Neuronal synchronization reflected by oscillatory brain activity has been strongly implicated in the mechanisms supporting selective gating. We here aimed at identifying the anatomical pathways in humans supporting the top-down control of neuronal synchronization. We first collected diffusion imaging data using magnetic resonance imaging to identify the medial branch of the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF), a white-matter tract connecting frontal control areas to parietal regions. We then quantified the modulations in oscillatory activity using magnetoencephalography in the same subjects performing a spatial attention task. We found that subjects with a stronger SLF volume in the right compared to the left hemisphere (or vice versa) also were the subjects who had a better ability to modulate right compared to left hemisphere alpha and gamma band synchronization, with the latter also predicting biases in reaction time. Our findings implicate the medial branch of the SLF in mediating top-down control of neuronal synchronization in sensory regions that support selective attention.

No MeSH data available.