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Sustained attention and the frontal lobes.
Manly, T. & Robertson, I.H.
In P. Rabbitt (Ed.) Methodology of Frontal and Executive Function, pp.135-150. Hove: Psychology Press.
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Discusses the concept of vigilance performance in normal subjects and the application of these paradigms to neurological patients. In reviewing studies of frontal lobe lesions, traumatic brain injury and neuroimaging studies on normal subjects, the chapter considers the evidence for a dominant role of right dorsolateral prefrontal structures in maintaining a readiness to respond in the absence of sufficient environmental facilitation. It argues that reliance on simple time based performance decrements may miss fluctuating patterns in attention and that differences in experimental tasks such as rate of presentation, may produce quite distinct reasons for failure. Finally the chapter considers sustained attention as a process of monitoring ongoing performance against goals with the capacity to intervene to maintain activation when necessary - that is as an element of supervisory executive control.