Primary motor area contribution to attentional reorienting after distraction

Institute for Psychology I, University of Leipzig, Germany.
Neuroreport (Impact Factor: 1.52). 04/2008; 19(4):443-6. DOI: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e3282f5693d
Source: PubMed


The anatomical structures involved in distraction-related processing in the auditory domain were investigated using magnetoencephalography. Participants performed a duration-discrimination task on a sequence of 200 and 400 ms long tones. Infrequent (12%) task-irrelevant pitch changes resulted in slower discriminative responses and more errors. Event-related potentials to these changes show an increased N1, a mismatch negativity, a P3a, and a reorienting negativity. The event-related magnetic fields revealed focal activities in superior and medial temporal areas in the N1/mismatch negativity time range. No significant activity was found in the P3a interval. In the reorienting negativity interval, significant activity was located in the primary motor area. This suggests that action-selection-related activity also contributes to attentional reorientation after distraction.

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    • "RON usually shows a frontal (e.g., Berti and Schrö ger, 2001), frontocentral (e.g., Roeber et al., 2003), or central (e.g., Horvá th et al., 2008c) scalp maximum. Performing the task optimally after distraction may also require adjustments to response-and decision-related aspects of task-related processing (Berti, 2008a; Escera et al., 2001; Horvá th et al., 2008a), which may also be partly reflected by RON, or by the modulation of the parietal P3b component, which is typically elicited by targets requiring a response. The P3b probably also reflects the maintenance of the task-related stimulus context information in working memory, or decision-related processes regarding stimulus–response associations (Donchin and Coles, 1988; Polich, 2007; but see Verleger, 1988, 2008). "
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