Regulation of attention to novel stimuli by frontal lobes: An event- related potential study

Kirk R. Daffner*, M. Marsel Mesulam, Leonard F.M. Scinto, Lisa G. Cohen, Bruce P. Kennedy, W. Caroline West, Phillip J. Holcomb

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


This study examined the relationship between orienting responses to novel events and subsequent exploratory behavior. The N2-P3 electrophysiologic component of the orienting response was found to be larger for novel than repetitive background stimuli. Across subjects, the amplitude of this N2-P3 response in frontal regions strongly predicted the proportional increase in the duration of viewing directed toward novel compared to background stimuli. Within subjects, larger N2-P3 amplitudes in response to novel stimuli were associated with longer viewing durations on those stimuli. These results suggest that the N2-P3 component of the orienting response reflects the activity of a neural system involving frontal networks that dynamically regulates the subsequent allocation of attentional resources to novel stimuli.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)787-791
Number of pages5
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 30 1998


  • Attention
  • Curiosity
  • Event-Related Potentials
  • Frontal Lobes
  • N2- P3
  • Novelty
  • Orienting response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Regulation of attention to novel stimuli by frontal lobes: An event- related potential study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this