Activation of SI is modulated by attention: a random effects fMRI study using mechanical stimuli

Annette Sterr*, Shan Shen, Arshad Zaman, Neil Roberts, Andre Szameitat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Animal experiments on tactile attention suggest a modulation of sensory processing on the level of sensory representations but correspondent neuroimaging data in humans is inconclusive. The present experiment used mechanical stimuli to study tactile processing while varying the focus of attention. Activations were contrasted between attend and ignore conditions, both of which employed identical stimulation characteristics and an active task. Random effects analysis revealed significant attention effects in area SI (primary somatosensory cortex) in that the blood oxygenation level-dependent response was greater for attended than for ignored stimuli. Modulations were further found in the secondary somatosensory cortex and the middle temporal gyrus. These findings suggest that stimulus processing at the level of primary representations in area SI is modulated by attention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-611
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroreport
Volume18
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2007

Keywords

  • hand representation
  • mechanoreceptor
  • top-down attention
  • SOMATOSENSORY EVOKED-POTENTIALS
  • POSITRON-EMISSION-TOMOGRAPHY
  • MEDIAN NERVE-STIMULATION
  • SELECTIVE ATTENTION
  • SPATIAL ATTENTION
  • CORTICAL NETWORK
  • CORTEX
  • TASK
  • MONKEY
  • RESPONSES

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