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Tactile spatial attention enhances gamma-band activity in somatosensory cortex and reduces low-frequency activity in parieto-occipital areas.

Bauer, M; Oostenveld, R; Peeters, M; Fries, P; (2006) Tactile spatial attention enhances gamma-band activity in somatosensory cortex and reduces low-frequency activity in parieto-occipital areas. Journal of Neuroscience , 26 (2) 490 - 501. 10.1523/​JNEUROSCI.5228-04.2006. Green open access

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Abstract

We investigated the effects of spatial-selective attention on oscillatory neuronal dynamics in a tactile delayed-match-to-sample task. Whole-head magnetoencephalography was recorded in healthy subjects while dot patterns were presented to their index fingers using Braille stimulators. The subjects’ task was to report the reoccurrence of an initially presented sample pattern in a series of up to eight test stimuli that were presented unpredictably to their right or left index finger. Attention was cued to one side (finger) at the beginning of each trial, and subjects performed the task at the attended side, ignoring the unattended side. After stimulation, high-frequency gamma-band activity (60 –95 Hz) in presumed primary somatosensory cortex (S1) was enhanced, whereas alpha- and beta-band activity were suppressed in somatosensory and occipital areas and then rebounded. Interestingly, despite the absence of any visual stimulation, we also found time-locked activation of medial occipital, presumably visual, cortex. Most relevant, spatial tactile attention enhanced stimulus-induced gamma-band activity in brain regions consistent with contralateral S1 and deepened and prolonged the stimulus induced suppression of beta- and alpha-band activity, maximal in parieto-occipital cortex. Additionally, the beta rebound over contralateral sensorimotor areas was suppressed. Wehypothesize that spatial-selective attention enhances the saliency of sensory representations by synchronizing neuronal responses in early somatosensory cortex and thereby enhancing their impact on downstream areas and facilitating interareal processing. Furthermore, processing of tactile patterns also seems to recruit visual cortex and this even more so for attended compared with unattended stimuli.

Type: Article
Title: Tactile spatial attention enhances gamma-band activity in somatosensory cortex and reduces low-frequency activity in parieto-occipital areas.
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1523/​JNEUROSCI.5228-04.2006
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/​JNEUROSCI.5228-04.2006
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. The license allows you to copy, distribute, and transmit the work, as well as adapting it. However, you must attribute the work to the author (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work), and cannot use the work for commercial purposes without prior permission of the author. If you alter or build upon this work, you can distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA.
Keywords: tactile, attention, synchrony, gamma, MEG
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/92749
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