Brain Structure and Function

, Volume 212, Issue 2, pp 181–194

Orienting and maintenance of spatial attention in audition and vision: multimodal and modality-specific brain activations

Authors

    • Department of PsychologyUniversity of Helsinki
    • Advanced Magnetic Imaging CentreHelsinki University of Technology
  • Teemu Rinne
    • Department of PsychologyUniversity of Helsinki
  • Alexander Degerman
    • Department of PsychologyUniversity of Helsinki
    • Advanced Magnetic Imaging CentreHelsinki University of Technology
  • Oili Salonen
    • Helsinki Medical Imaging CenterHelsinki University Central Hospital
  • Kimmo Alho
    • Department of PsychologyUniversity of Helsinki
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00429-007-0152-2

Cite this article as:
Salmi, J., Rinne, T., Degerman, A. et al. Brain Struct Funct (2007) 212: 181. doi:10.1007/s00429-007-0152-2

Abstract

We studied orienting and maintenance of spatial attention in audition and vision. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in nine healthy subjects revealed activations in the same superior and inferior parietal, and posterior prefrontal areas in the auditory and visual orienting tasks when these tasks were compared with the corresponding maintenance tasks. Attention-related activations in the thalamus and cerebellum were observed during the auditory orienting and maintenance tasks and during the visual orienting task. In addition to the supratemporal auditory cortices, auditory orienting, and maintenance produced stronger activity than the respective visual tasks in the inferior parietal and prefrontal cortices, whereas only the occipital visual cortex and the superior parietal cortex showed stronger activity during the visual tasks than during the auditory tasks. Differences between the brain networks involved in auditory and visual spatial attention could be, for example, due to different encoding of auditory and visual spatial information or differences in stimulus-driven (bottom-up triggered) and voluntary (top-down controlled) attention between the auditory and visual modalities, or both.

Keywords

AttentionAuditoryMaintenanceOrientingVisual

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007