European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience

, Volume 248, Issue 4, pp 161–170

Challenging the anterior attentional system with a continuous performance task: a functional magnetic resonance imaging approach

Authors

  • F. Häger
    • Department of Psychiatry, Hans-Berger-Kliniken, University of Jena, Philosophenweg 3, D-07740 Jena, Germany
  • Hans-Peter Volz
    • Department of Psychiatry, Hans-Berger-Kliniken, University of Jena, Philosophenweg 3, D-07740 Jena, Germany
  • Christian Gaser
    • Department of Psychiatry, Hans-Berger-Kliniken, University of Jena, Philosophenweg 3, D-07740 Jena, Germany
  • Hans-Joachim Mentzel
    • Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Hans-Berger-Kliniken, University of Jena, Philosophenweg 3, D-07740 Jena, Germany
  • Werner A. Kaiser
    • Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Hans-Berger-Kliniken, University of Jena, Philosophenweg 3, D-07740 Jena, Germany
  • Heinrich Sauer
    • Department of Psychiatry, Hans-Berger-Kliniken, University of Jena, Philosophenweg 3, D-07740 Jena, Germany
Original paper

DOI: 10.1007/s004060050034

Cite this article as:
Häger, F., Volz, H., Gaser, C. et al. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences (1998) 248: 161. doi:10.1007/s004060050034

Abstract

Combining the Continuous Performance Test (CPT) with a modern functional imaging technique provides a powerful tool for investigating neurophysiological processes in the human brain. There is increasing evidence from single photon emission tomography (SPECT), positron emission tomography (PET) and presently also functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies proposing the existence of a distributed large-scale attentional network, mediated by the dorsolateral prefrontal and mesial frontal cortex, thalamus, basal ganglia and posterior parietal and superior temporal lobe. The aim of this study is to show that fMRI is a useful tool for in vivo localization of attentional tasks and to compare the results with established imaging techniques. Functional MRI was performed on a clinical 1.5-T system using gradient-echo acquisition. For data processing, the Statistical Parametric Mapping (SPM96) package was used. A right lateralized activation pattern in the dorsolateral prefrontal and mesial frontal cortex, the thalamus and the basal ganglia was found in a group of 12 male subjects. These findings support theories suggesting right hemispheric dominance of human attention.

Key words Continuous Performance TestFunctional MRIBrain imagingCognitive stimulation

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998