The influence of alertness on the spatial deployment of visual attention is mediated by the excitability of the posterior parietal cortices

Paladini, Rebecca Elise; Müri, René Martin; Meichtry, Jurka; Nef, Tobias; Mast, Fred; Mosimann, Urs Peter; Nyffeler, Thomas; Cazzoli, Dario (2017). The influence of alertness on the spatial deployment of visual attention is mediated by the excitability of the posterior parietal cortices. Cerebral cortex, 27(1), pp. 233-243. Oxford University Press 10.1093/cercor/bhw390

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With a reduced level of alertness, healthy individuals typically show a rightward shift when deploying visual attention in space. The impact of alertness on the neural networks governing visuospatial attention is, however, poorly understood. By using a transcranial magnetic stimulation twin-coil approach, the present study aimed at investigating the effects of an alertness manipulation on the excitability of the left and the right posterior parietal cortices (PPCs), crucial nodes of the visuospatial attentional network. Participants' visuospatial attentional deployment was assessed with a free visual exploration task and concurrent eye tracking. Their alertness level was manipulated through the time of the day, that is, by testing chronotypically defined evening types both during their circadian on- and off-peak times. The results revealed an increased excitability of the left compared with the right PPC during low alertness. On the horizontal dimension, these results were accompanied by a significant rightward shift in the center and a bilateral narrowing in the periphery of the visual exploration field, as well as a central upward shift on the vertical dimension. The findings show that the manipulation of non-spatial attentional aspects (i.e., alertness) can affect visuospatial attentional deployment and modulate the excitability of areas subtending spatial attentional control.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

10 Strategic Research Centers > ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research > ARTORG Center - Gerontechnology and Rehabilitation
04 Faculty of Medicine > Other Institutions > Teaching Staff, Faculty of Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Geriatric Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Cognitive Psychology, Perception and Methodology

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Health Sciences (GHS)

UniBE Contributor:

Paladini, Rebecca Elise; Müri, René Martin; Meichtry, Jurka; Nef, Tobias; Mast, Fred; Mosimann, Urs Peter; Nyffeler, Thomas and Cazzoli, Dario

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology

ISSN:

1047-3211

Publisher:

Oxford University Press

Language:

English

Submitter:

Vanessa Vallejo

Date Deposited:

04 Jan 2017 11:55

Last Modified:

29 May 2018 15:52

Publisher DOI:

10.1093/cercor/bhw390

PubMed ID:

28013233

Uncontrolled Keywords:

alertness, eye tracking, posterior parietal cortex (PPC), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), visuospatial attention

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/92353

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