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Kathleen A. Hansen, Carlton Chu, Annelise Dickinson, Brandon Pye, J. Patrick Weller, Leslie G. Ungerleider; Spatial selectivity in the temporoparietal junction, inferior frontal sulcus, and inferior parietal lobule. Journal of Vision 2015;15(13):15. doi: 10.1167/15.13.15.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Spatial selectivity, as measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) activity patterns that vary consistently with the location of visual stimuli, has been documented in many human brain regions, notably the occipital visual cortex and the frontal and parietal regions that are active during endogenous, goal-directed attention. We hypothesized that spatial selectivity also exists in regions that are active during exogenous, stimulus-driven attention. To test this hypothesis, we acquired fMRI data while subjects maintained passive fixation. At jittered time intervals, a briefly presented wedge-shaped array of rapidly expanding circles appeared at one of three contralateral or one of three ipsilateral locations. Positive fMRI activations were identified in multiple brain regions commonly associated with exogenous attention, including the temporoparietal junction, the inferior parietal lobule, and the inferior frontal sulcus. These activations were not organized as a map across the cortical surface. However, multivoxel pattern analysis of the fMRI activity correctly classified every pair of stimulus locations, demonstrating that patterns of fMRI activity were correlated with spatial location. These observations held for both contralateral and ipsilateral stimulus pairs as well as for stimuli of different textures (radial checkerboard) and shapes (squares and rings). Permutation testing verified that the obtained accuracies were not due to systematic biases and demonstrated that the findings were statistically significant.
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