Article

The Reorienting System of the Human Brain: From Environment to Theory of Mind

Department of Neurology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.
Neuron (Impact Factor: 15.98). 06/2008; 58(3):306-24. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2008.04.017
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Survival can depend on the ability to change a current course of action to respond to potentially advantageous or threatening stimuli. This "reorienting" response involves the coordinated action of a right hemisphere dominant ventral frontoparietal network that interrupts and resets ongoing activity and a dorsal frontoparietal network specialized for selecting and linking stimuli and responses. At rest, each network is distinct and internally correlated, but when attention is focused, the ventral network is suppressed to prevent reorienting to distracting events. These different patterns of recruitment may reflect inputs to the ventral attention network from the locus coeruleus/norepinephrine system. While originally conceptualized as a system for redirecting attention from one object to another, recent evidence suggests a more general role in switching between networks, which may explain recent evidence of its involvement in functions such as social cognition.

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    • "Several key theories from neuroscience, in favour of which a considerable amount of evidence has been amassed, have served as the main motivations for the proposed framework: • Neurophysiologists have identified two highly interconnected attentional processes in the human brain: (1) a top-down (i.e., goal-oriented) modulation of bottomup (i.e., stimulus-driven -e.g., saliency) attentional capture by targets versus distractors that is believed to be implemented by what has been called the dorsal attention system. [11], [12], [13]; and (2) a coordinated attentional process consisting of bottom-up attentional capture by behaviourally relevant distractors (e.g., unexpected stimuli) that is believed to be implemented by the ventral attention system of the human brain, and is filtered by behavioural valences to reorient attention by resetting the current attentional set accordingly [12], [13]. • Graziano et al. [14], [15] have proposed the " awareness theory", in which the brain is suggested to possess functional sites devoted to building a simplified, schematic model of the current state of the complex data-handling process of attention, which would serve as a model of awareness. "
    2015 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Hamburg; 10/2015
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    • "And secondly , both brain regions should coordinate in time their unique functional contributions to ensure an efficient state of attentional control states in the face of changing environmental in - puts ( Xu , 2014 ). Both of these predictions about the IFG and TPJ as core regions of the ventral attention network ( Corbetta et al. , 2008 ) await to be fully explored and tested ( Bzdok et al. , 2013 ). For exam - ple , a growing body of evidence suggests that the coordination of dis - tant brain areas is realized by phase aligning their activity fluctuations to narrow band rhythmic activities ( Bosman et al. , 2012 ; Siegel et al . "
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    • "In adults, the two types of emotional attention are represented by different neural networks: For top-down emotional attention a dorsal frontoparietal network is activated including the dorsolateral prefrontal and the dorsal parietal cortex, and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Bottom-up emotional attention is modulated by a ventral frontoparietal network including the occipitotemporal cortex, orbitofrontal cortex, and the amygdala (Corbetta et al., 2008; Iordan et al., 2013; Vuilleumier and Huang, 2009). "
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