Cortical localization of human sustained attention: Detection with functional MR using a visual vigilance paradigm

Jonathan S. Lewin*, Lee Friedman, Dee Wu, David A. Miller, Lee A. Thompson, Susan K. Klein, Alexandria L. Wise, Peter Hedera, Peter Buckley, Herbert Meltzer, Robert P. Friedland, Jeffrey L. Duerk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Scopus citations


Purpose: Our goal was to determine whether functional MRI on a standard 1.5 T system can localize activation during a visual vigilance sustained attention task and whether this corresponds to results described in a PET investigation of a similar task. Method: Sixteen volunteers were studied on a 1.5 T system using a gradient echo technique. A single axial section was oriented within a stereotaxic coordinate space, 40 mm superior to the anterior-posterior commissure line. Images with eyes closed were followed by images during subject concentration on a small dim spot. Motion correction and pixel-by-pixel statistical analysis were performed. Talairach grids were applied for summary statistical analysis and comparison to PET data, with analysis using a series of planned contrasts within a repeated measures analysis of variance. Results: Predominantly right-sided frontal and parietal activation was observed, with statistical significance across subjects in the right frontal lobe (F ≤ 5.9, p ≤ 0.041). Comparison with previously reported PET data yielded a very similar pattern of activation (F = 13.2; df = 1.8; p = 0.007). Conclusion: Activation of the right middle frontal gyrus and right parietal lobe during visual vigilance is detectable across functional imaging modalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)695-701
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Computer Assisted Tomography
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1996


  • Blood, flow dynamics
  • Brain
  • Brain, blood flow
  • Magnetic resonance imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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