Humsini Viswanath

University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California, United States

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Publications (2)11.85 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: There is growing evidence that auditory selective attention operates via distinct facilitatory and inhibitory mechanisms enabling selective enhancement and suppression of sound processing, respectively. The lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) plays a crucial role in the top-down control of selective attention. However, whether the LPFC controls facilitatory, inhibitory, or both attentional mechanisms is unclear. Facilitatory and inhibitory mechanisms were assessed, in patients with LPFC damage, by comparing event-related potentials (ERPs) to attended and ignored sounds with ERPs to these same sounds when attention was equally distributed to all sounds. In control subjects, we observed 2 late frontally distributed ERP components: a transient facilitatory component occurring from 150 to 250 ms after sound onset; and an inhibitory component onsetting at 250 ms. Only the facilitatory component was affected in patients with LPFC damage: this component was absent when attending to sounds delivered in the ear contralateral to the lesion, with the most prominent decreases observed over the damaged brain regions. These findings have 2 important implications: (i) they provide evidence for functionally distinct facilitatory and inhibitory mechanisms supporting late auditory selective attention; (ii) they show that the LPFC is involved in the control of the facilitatory mechanisms of auditory attention.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Cerebral Cortex
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    ABSTRACT: We employed an electroencephalography paradigm manipulating predictive context to dissociate the neural dynamics of anticipatory mechanisms. Subjects either detected random targets or targets preceded by a predictive sequence of three distinct stimuli. The last stimulus in the three-stimulus sequence (decisive stimulus) did not require any motor response but 100% predicted a subsequent target event. We showed that predictive context optimises target processing via the deployment of distinct anticipatory mechanisms at different times of the predictive sequence. Prior to the occurrence of the decisive stimulus, enhanced attentional preparation was manifested by reductions in the alpha oscillatory activities over the visual cortices, resulting in facilitation of processing of the decisive stimulus. Conversely, the subsequent 100% predictable target event did not reveal the deployment of attentional preparation in the visual cortices, but elicited enhanced motor preparation mechanisms, indexed by an increased contingent negative variation and reduced mu oscillatory activities over the motor cortices before movement onset. The present results provide evidence that anticipation operates via different attentional and motor preparation mechanisms by selectively pre-activating task-dependent brain areas as the predictability gradually increases.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2012 · European Journal of Neuroscience