The posterior cingulate and medial prefrontal cortex mediate the anticipatory allocation of spatial attention

D. M. Small, D. R. Gitelman, M. D. Gregory, A. C. Nobre, T. B. Parrish, M. M. Mesulam*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

230 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to identify brain regions underlying internally generated anticipatory biases toward locations where significant events are expected to occur. Subjects fixated centrally and responded to peripheral targets preceded by a spatially valid (predictive), invalid (misleading), or neutral central cue while undergoing fMRI scanning. In some validly cued trials, reaction time was significantly shorter than in trials with neutral cues, indicating that the cue had successfully induced a spatial redistribution of motivational valence, manifested as expectancy. The largest cue benefits led to selectively greater activations within the posterior cingulate and medial prefrontal cortex. These two areas thus appear to establish a neural interface between attention and motivation. An inverse relationship to cue benefit was seen in the parietal cortex, suggesting that spatial expectancy may entail the inhibition of attention-related areas to reduce distractibility by events at irrelevant locations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)633-641
Number of pages9
JournalNeuroimage
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003

Keywords

  • Area 10
  • Event-related fMRI
  • Medial prefrontal cortex
  • Posterior cingulate cortex
  • Posterior parietal cortex
  • Shift of attention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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