September 2015
Volume 15, Issue 12
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2015
Functional MRI Reveals a Cognitive Control Subnetwork Supporting Long-Term Memory-Guided Visual Attention
Author Affiliations
  • Maya Rosen
    Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Boston Univeristy
  • Kathryn Devaney
    Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Boston Univeristy
Journal of Vision September 2015, Vol.15, 1247. doi:
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      Maya Rosen, Chantal Stern, Kathryn Devaney, David Somers; Functional MRI Reveals a Cognitive Control Subnetwork Supporting Long-Term Memory-Guided Visual Attention. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):1247. doi:

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Human visual performance exceeds that of powerful supercomputers. Paradoxically, human attentional capacity is extremely limited. We can reconcile this superior performance with our limited attentional capacity by taking into account the important role of long-term memory, which guides attention to the most relevant information in an environment. Previous work from our laboratory (Rosen et al., in revision) has found that three regions located within the posterior Cognitive Control Network (defined­­ using Yeo et al., 2011), including the lateral intraparietal sulcus (latIPS), posterior callosal sulcus (CaS-p), and the posterior precuneus (PrC-p) were more strongly recruited during long-term memory-guided attention compared to stimulus-guided attention. Recent work has suggested that these three regions form a subnetwork and a meta-analysis suggested that they support long-term memory retrieval (Power et al, 2011; 2014). It is unclear if this network plays a specific role in memory-guided attention or a more general role in memory retrieval. Here, we designed an experiment to directly contrast long-term memory-guided attention, stimulus-guided attention and long-term memory retrieval in the same subjects (n = 24). Subjects performed a cued target detection task with matched visual stimuli in all conditions. Cues either explicitly directed spatial attention, required subjects to use LTM to direct spatial attention or forced memory retrieval without spatial attention. All three regions of the subnetwork (PrC-p, CaS-p and latIPS) in both hemispheres showed the greatest activity in long-term memory-guided attention (allp > 0.01, corrected) with no regions showing differences between long-term memory retrieval and stimulus-guided conditions. Effects were strongly bilateral in PrC-p and CaS-p, but latIPS was more selective for memory-guided attention in the right hemisphere (Hemisphere:Condition interaction F(2,46) = 13.43, p< 0.001). We suggest that this subnetwork of posterior Cognitive Control Network nodes (PrC-p, CaS-p and latIPS) supports processing that integrates memory- and stimulus-based representations and is preferentially recruited for LTM-guided attention.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015


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