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An fMRI study of sustained attention with endogenous and exogenous engagement
O'Connor, C., MANLY, T., Robertson, I.H., Hevenor, S.J. & Levine, B.
Brain and Cognition, 54(2), 133-135
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We studied the neural substrates of sustained attention using the Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART). The task was administered with and without random alerting tones in order to study the effects of exogenous engagement of sustained attention. As predicted, the SART was associated with activations in righ dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex, inferior parietal lobe, and thalamus. Alerting tones diminished these activations, yet they were also associated with increased activation in key regions of this same network during a control condition with low demands on endogenous engagement of sustained attention. Alerting tones may stimulate the maintenance of the goal-state, reducing reliance on the top-down control of prefrontal cortex, but this effect appears to be dependent on the level of endogenous engagement of the baseline task.