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Attentional functions of parietal and frontal cortex
PEERS, P., Ludwig, C., Rorden, C., CUSACK, R., Bonfiglioli, C., Bundesen, C., Driver, J., Antoun, N., and DUNCAN, J.
Cerebral Cortex, 15(10), 1469-1484
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A model of normal attentional function, based on the concept of competitive parallel processing, is used to compare attentional deficits following parietal and frontal lobe lesions. Measurements are obtained for visual processing speed, spatial bias, top-down attentional control and capacity of visual short-term memory (VSTM). The results show important differences, but also surprising similarities, in parietal and frontal lobe patients. For processing speed and VSTM, deficits are selectively associated with parietal lesions, in particular lesions of the temporoparietal junction. We discuss explanations based on either grey matter or white matter lesions. In striking contrast, spatial bias (bias to left or right hemifield) is predicted by simple lesion volume. The same is true for top-down control, or selective attention based on task relevance. For these aspects of attentional function, parietal and frontal cortex seem to make essentially similar contributions.