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    Individual attentional selection capacities are reflected in interhemispheric connectivity of the parietal cortex.
    Neuroimage 2016 Apr 28;129:148-158. Epub 2016 Jan 28.
    Cognitive Neuroscience, Institute of Neuroscience & Medicine (INM-3), Research Centre Juelich, 52425 Juelich, Germany; Department of Neurology, University Hospital Cologne, 50937 Cologne, Germany.
    Modelling psychophysical data using the Theory of Visual Attention (TVA) allows for a quantification of attentional sub-processes, such as the resolution of competition amongst multiple stimuli by top-down control signals for target selection (TVA-parameter α). This fMRI study investigated the neural correlates of α by comparing activity differences and changes of effective connectivity between conditions where a target was accompanied by a distractor or by a second target. Twenty-five participants performed a partial report task inside the MRI scanner. The left angular gyrus (ANG), medial frontal, and posterior cingulate cortex showed higher activity when a target was accompanied by a distractor as opposed to a second target. The reverse contrast yielded activation of a bilateral fronto-parietal network, the anterior insula, anterior cingulate cortex, and left inferior occipital gyrus. A psychophysiological interaction analysis revealed that the connectivity between left ANG and the left and right supramarginal gyrus (SMG), left anterior insula, and right putamen was enhanced in the target-distractor condition in participants with worse attentional top-down control. Dynamic causal modelling suggested that the connection from left ANG to right SMG during distractor presence was modulated by α. Our data show that interindividual differences in attentional processing are reflected in changes of effective connectivity without significant differences in activation strength of network nodes.

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    The neural correlates of perceptual load induced attentional selection: an fMRI study.
    Neuroscience 2013 Oct 20;250:372-80. Epub 2013 Jul 20.
    Beijing Key Laboratory of Learning and Cognition and Department of Psychology, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100048, China; Department of Psychology, LMU München, D-80802 München, Germany; Center for Brain and Cognition Sciences and Department of Psychology, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China. Electronic address:
    The neural correlates of perceptual load induced attentional selection were investigated in an functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiment in which attentional selection was manipulated through the variation of perceptual load in target search. Participants searched for a vertically or horizontally oriented bar among heterogeneously (the high load condition) or homogeneously (the low load condition) oriented distractor bars in the central display, which was flanked by a vertical or horizontal bar presented at the left or the right periphery. The search reaction times were longer when the central display was of high load than of low load, and were longer when the flanker was incongruent than congruent with the target. Read More
    Structural Variability within Frontoparietal Networks and Individual Differences in Attentional Functions: An Approach Using the Theory of Visual Attention.
    J Neurosci 2015 Jul;35(30):10647-58
    Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3UD, United Kingdom, and.
    Visuospatial attention allows us to select and act upon a subset of behaviorally relevant visual stimuli while ignoring distraction. Bundesen's theory of visual attention (TVA) (Bundesen, 1990) offers a quantitative analysis of the different facets of attention within a unitary model and provides a powerful analytic framework for understanding individual differences in attentional functions. Visuospatial attention is contingent upon large networks, distributed across both hemispheres, consisting of several cortical areas interconnected by long-association frontoparietal pathways, including three branches of the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF I-III) and the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus (IFOF). Read More
    Functional connectivity changes between parietal and prefrontal cortices in primary insomnia patients: evidence from resting-state fMRI.
    Eur J Med Res 2014 Jun 10;19:32. Epub 2014 Jun 10.
    Department of Radiology, Henan Provincial People's Hospital, People's Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan 450003, China.
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    Methods: We compared the R-fMRI activity patterns of 15 healthy controls to 15 primary insomnia patients (all 30 participants were right-handed) using a 3. Read More
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    Magn Reson Imaging 2004 Dec;22(10):1477-86
    Neuroimaging Laboratory, Fondazione Santa Lucia, Via Ardeatina, 306-00179, Rome, Italy.
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