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Selective attention to features of interest facilitates object processing in a cluttered and dynamic environment. Previous research found that distinct networks of regions across cortex are activated depending on the attended feature. These networks typically consist of posterior feature-preferring regions and anterior regions involved in attentional processes. In the current study, we investigated the role of white matter connections between the posterior and anterior regions within these networks for attention to features of novel colored dynamic objects. We asked participants to perform a 1-back feature-attention task while we acquired both functional and diffusion-weighted images. Using tract-based spatial statistics and probabilistic tractography, we found that the right superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF) connected posterior and anterior object-processing regions and that voxels within the SLF correlated with response times on the task. Posterior and anterior regions that were anatomically connected also had increased functional connectivity relative to posterior and anterior regions that were not connected. Our results demonstrate that both functional and structural information has to be taken into account to understand selective attention and object perception.
Author(s): Mayer KM, Vuong QC
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Brain Structure and Function
Print publication date: 01/11/2014
Online publication date: 05/09/2013
Acceptance date: 26/08/2013
ISSN (print): 1863-2653
ISSN (electronic): 1863-2661
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