Role of frontal and parietal cortices in the control of bottom-up and top-down attention in humans

Ling Li*, Caterina Gratton, Dezhong Yao, Robert T. Knight

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

59 Scopus citations

Abstract

We investigated the contribution of frontal and parietal cortices to bottom-up and top-down visual attention using electrophysiological measures in humans. Stimuli consisted of triangles, each with a different color and orientation. Subjects were presented with a sample triangle which served as the target for that trial. An array was subsequently presented with the target and three additional distractor stimuli, which were constructed to induce either automatic "pop-out" (50%) or effortful "search" (50%) behavior. For pop-out, both the color and orientation of the distractors differed from the target, which attracted attention automatically. For search, only the orientation of the distractors differed from the target, so effortful attention was required. Pop-out target detection generated a P300 event-related potential (ERP) with a peak amplitude over parietal sites whereas the search condition generated a fronto-centrally distributed P300. Reaction times and associated P300 latency in frontal areas were shorter for pop-out targets than for search targets. We used time-frequency analysis to compare pop-out and search conditions, within a 200-650 ms time-window and a 4-55 Hz frequency band. There was a double dissociation, with significantly increased power from 4 to 24 Hz in parietal areas for pop-out targets and increased power from 4 to 24 Hz in frontal regions for search targets. Taken together the ERP and time-frequency results provide evidence that the control of bottom-up and top-down attention depend on differential contributions from parietal and frontal cortices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-184
Number of pages12
JournalBrain research
Volume1344
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 16 2010

Keywords

  • Attention
  • ERP
  • P300
  • Pop-out
  • Time-frequency
  • Visual search

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Role of frontal and parietal cortices in the control of bottom-up and top-down attention in humans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this