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Minor and Unsystematic Cortical Topographic Changes of Attention Correlates between Modalities

Public Library of Science
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0015022
  • Research Article
  • Biology
  • Anatomy And Physiology
  • Electrophysiology
  • Neurological System
  • Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neuroimaging
  • Neurophysiology
  • Medicine
  • Diagnostic Medicine
  • Clinical Neurophysiology
  • Electroencephalography
  • Neurology


In this study we analyzed the topography of induced cortical oscillations in 20 healthy individuals performing simple attention tasks. We were interested in qualitatively replicating our recent findings on the localization of attention-induced beta bands during a visual task [1], and verifying whether significant topographic changes would follow the change of attention to the auditory modality. We computed corrected latency averaging of each induced frequency bands, and modeled their generators by current density reconstruction with Lp-norm minimization. We quantified topographic similarity between conditions by an analysis of correlations, whereas the inter-modality significant differences in attention correlates were illustrated in each individual case. We replicated the qualitative result of highly idiosyncratic topography of attention-related activity to individuals, manifested both in the beta bands, and previously studied slow potential distributions [2]. Visual inspection of both scalp potentials and distribution of cortical currents showed minor changes in attention-related bands with respect to modality, as compared to the theta and delta bands, known to be major contributors to the sensory-related potentials. Quantitative results agreed with visual inspection, supporting to the conclusion that attention-related activity does not change much between modalities, and whatever individual changes do occur, they are not systematic in cortical localization across subjects. We discuss our results, combined with results from other studies that present individual data, with respect to the function of cortical association areas.

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