The neural correlates of attention orienting in visuospatial working memory for detecting feature and conjunction changes

Yei-Yu Yeh, Bo-Cheng Kuo, Ho-Ling Liu
Brain Research 2007 January 26, 1130 (1): 146-57
The neural mechanisms of attentional orienting in visuospatial working memory for change detection were investigated. A spatial cue was provided with the onset time manipulated to allow more effective top-down control with an early cue than with a late cue. The change type was also manipulated so that accurate detection depended on color or the binding of color and location. The results showed that both the frontal and parietal regions subserved the change detection task without cueing. When data were collapsed over the two change types, early cueing increased activation in the right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and middle frontal gyrus (MFG) while late cueing increased activation in the right inferior parietal lobule (IPL) and temporoparietal junction (TPJ) as compared with the no-cue condition. The cue onset time led to different levels of enhancement in the frontal and posterior cortices related to top-down control and stimulus-driven orienting. For feature detection, early cueing increased activation in the right MFG and late cueing increased activation in the bilateral precuneus (PCu), right TPJ, and right cuneus. The neural correlates of conjunction detection involved the right PCu and cerebellum without cueing, were associated with the anterior MFG, left IFG, and the left STG with early cueing, and involved the right MFG, left IFG, and right IPL with late cueing. The left IFG was correlated with memory retrieval of the cued representation for conjunction detection, and the right posterior PCu was associated with maintenance and memory retrieval among competing stimuli.

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