Evidence for a cognitive control network for goal-directed attention in simple sustained attention

Hilti, Caroline C; Jann, Kay; Heinemann, Doerthe; Federspiel, Andrea; Dierks, Thomas; Seifritz, Erich; Cattapan-Ludewig, Katja (2013). Evidence for a cognitive control network for goal-directed attention in simple sustained attention. Brain and cognition, 81(2), pp. 193-202. San Diego, Calif.: Elsevier Science 10.1016/j.bandc.2012.10.013

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The deterioration of performance over time is characteristic for sustained attention tasks. This so-called "performance decrement" is measured by the increase of reaction time (RT) over time. Some behavioural and neurobiological mechanisms of this phenomenon are not yet fully understood. Behaviourally, we examined the increase of RT over time and the inter-individual differences of this performance decrement. On the neurophysiological level, we investigated the task-relevant brain areas where neural activity was modulated by RT and searched for brain areas involved in good performance (i.e. participants with no or moderate performance decrement) as compared to poor performance (i.e. participants with a steep performance decrement). For this purpose, 20 healthy, young subjects performed a carefully designed task for simple sustained attention, namely a low-demanding version of the Rapid Visual Information Processing task. We employed a rapid event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) design. The behavioural results showed a significant increase of RT over time in the whole group, and also revealed that some participants were not as prone to the performance decrement as others. The latter was statistically significant comparing good versus poor performers. Moreover, high BOLD-responses were linked to longer RTs in a task-relevant bilateral fronto-cingulate-insular-parietal network. Among these regions, good performance was associated with significantly higher RT-BOLD correlations in the pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA). We concluded that the task-relevant bilateral fronto-cingulate-insular-parietal network was a cognitive control network responsible for goal-directed attention. The pre-SMA in particular might be associated with the performance decrement insofar that good performers could sustain activity in this brain region in order to monitor performance declines and adjust behavioural output.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Psychiatric Neurophysiology [discontinued]
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Management

UniBE Contributor:

Hilti, Caroline Claudia; Jann, Kay; Federspiel, Andrea; Dierks, Thomas; Seifritz, Erich and Cattapan-Ludewig, Katja

ISSN:

0278-2626

Publisher:

Elsevier Science

Language:

English

Submitter:

Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:39

Last Modified:

06 Dec 2013 13:37

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.bandc.2012.10.013

PubMed ID:

23262174

Web of Science ID:

000315067600005

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/15781 (FactScience: 223228)

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