Comparison of fMRI activation patterns for test and training procedures of alertness and focused attention

B. Clemens, M. Zvyagintsev, A.T. Sack, A. Heinecke, K. Willmes, W. Sturm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: Behavioural studies of attention training after brain damage have shown that only training procedures specifically related to the impaired attention function lead to significant improvements in the respective attention domain when using psychometric tests addressing these functions. The main objective of this fMRI study was to investigate specific as well as common neural correlates of alertness and focused attention and to assess the degree of neural overlap for two different tasks of the same attention function. Methods: To investigate how different attention functions are processed, we tested 32 healthy participants using fMRI. Each participant was randomly assigned to the alertness (n = 16) or the focused attention (n = 16) group, where participants underwent two different attention tasks, one being a diagnostic computerized test procedure and the other being a computer-game like training procedure. Results: The present results show similar activation patterns when assessing the same attention function with two different tasks. Activation overlap for test and training tasks of the same attention function was more clear-cut than the activation overlap for two different attention functions. Conclusions: Clinically validated diagnostic test paradigms and computer game-like training paradigms for both alertness and focused attention activated common brain systems processing the respective attention function. These findings may help to explain the beneficial effect of specifically designed attentional training procedures and the validity of related psychometric tests in detecting specific changes in performance after training of the same attention functions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-336
Number of pages26
JournalRestorative Neurology and Neuroscience
Volume31
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

Keywords

  • Alertness
  • fMRI
  • focused attention
  • neuropsychological test
  • neuropsychological training
  • clinical neuropsychology
  • ANTERIOR CINGULATE CORTEX
  • HUMAN CEREBRAL-CORTEX
  • POSITRON-EMISSION-TOMOGRAPHY
  • POSTERIOR PARIETAL CORTEX
  • STIMULUS-DRIVEN ATTENTION
  • TEST-RETEST RELIABILITY
  • ACQUIRED BRAIN-INJURY
  • EVENT-RELATED FMRI
  • INTRINSIC ALERTNESS
  • CORTICAL NETWORKS

Cite this