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: 15.05). 06/2008; 58(3):306-24. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2008.04.017
Source: PubMed


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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Available from: Gaurav H Patel, May 15, 2014
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    • "Specifically, the dlPFC and LPC areas mentioned above as part of DES have been associated with the " fronto-parietal " (FPN) or " central-executive " network (Seeley et al. 2007; Dosenbach et al. 2008; Bressler and Menon 2010; Yeo et al. 2011; Power and Petersen 2013). Turning to the VAS regions, the vlPFC is typically considered part of the " salience " (SN) or " ventral-attentional " network (Seeley et al. 2007; Corbetta et al. 2008; Bressler and Menon 2010) and has been associated with both processing of salient information (Seeley et al. 2007; Corbetta et al. 2008; Bressler and Menon 2010) and response inhibition (Aron et al. 2004, 2014; Aron 2007), and affect regulation (Kober et al. 2008; Vytal and Hamann 2010; Ochsner et al. 2012; but see Hampshire et al. 2010). Consistent with these functional associations, empirical evidence from studies of emotional distraction points to vlPFC involvement in both basic emotion processing and coping with distracting emotions (reviewed in Dolcos et al. 2011; Iordan, Dolcos, Dolcos, et al. 2013). "
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