Separable networks for top-down attention to auditory non-spatial and visuospatial modalities

Rodrigo M. Braga*, Liam R. Wilson, David J. Sharp, Richard J.S. Wise, Robert Leech

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


A central question for cognitive neuroscience is whether there is a single neural system controlling the allocation of attention. A dorsal frontoparietal network of brain regions is often proposed as a mediator of top-down attention to all sensory inputs. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging in humans to show that the cortical networks supporting top-down attention are in fact modality-specific, with distinct superior fronto-parietal and fronto-temporal networks for visuospatial and non-spatial auditory attention respectively. In contrast, parts of the right middle and inferior frontal gyri showed a common response to attentional control regardless of modality, providing evidence that the amodal component of attention is restricted to the anterior cortex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-86
Number of pages10
StatePublished - Jul 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Auditory
  • Dorsal attention network
  • Endogenous
  • Independent component analysis
  • Top-down attention
  • Visual

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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