Asymmetrical brain activity induced by voluntary spatial attention depends on the visual hemifield: A functional near-infrared spectroscopy study

Masamitsu Harasawa, Satoshi Shioiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The effect of the visual hemifield to which spatial attention was oriented on the activities of the posterior parietal and occipital visual cortices was examined using functional near-infrared spectroscopy in order to investigate the neural substrates of voluntary visuospatial attention. Our brain imaging data support the theory put forth in a previous psychophysical study, namely, the attentional resources for the left and right visual hemifields are distinct. Increasing the attentional load asymmetrically increased the brain activity. Increase in attentional load produced a greater increase in brain activity in the case of the left visual hemifield than in the case of the right visual hemifield. This asymmetry was observed in all the examined brain areas, including the right and left occipital and parietal cortices. These results suggest the existence of asymmetrical inhibitory interactions between the hemispheres and the presence of an extensive inhibitory network.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292-298
Number of pages7
JournalBrain and Cognition
Volume75
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Apr 1

Keywords

  • Inhibitory interaction
  • Near-infrared spectroscopy
  • Visual attention
  • Visual hemifields

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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