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Large-Scale Cortical Functional Connectivity Underlying Visuospatial Attention

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Date Issued:
2016
Summary:
The endogenous, or voluntary, control of visuospatial attention relies upon interactions within a frontoparietal dorsal attention network (DAN) and this network’s top-down influence on visual occipital cortex (VOC). While these interactions have been shown to occur during attention tasks, they are also known to occur to some extent at rest, but the degree to which task-related interactions reflect either modulation or reorganization of such ongoing intrinsic interactions is poorly understood. In addition, it is known that in spatial neglect—a syndrome following unilateral brain lesions in which patients fail to attend to the contralesional side of space—symptom severity covaries with disruptions to intrinsic interhemispheric interactions between left and right homologous regions of the DAN; however, similar covariance with disruptions to intrahemispheric interactions within the DAN, and between the DAN and VOC, has not been demonstrated. These issues are addressed herein via the measurement of both undirected and directed functional connectivity (UFC, DFC) within the DAN and between the DAN and VOC. UFC and DFC were derived from correlations of, and multivariate vector autoregressive modeling of, fMRI BOLD time-series, respectively. Time-series were recorded from individuals performing an anticipatory visuospatial attention task and individuals at rest, as well as from stroke patients either with or without neglect and age-matched healthy controls. With regard to the first issue, the results show that relative to rest, top-down DAN-to-VOC influence and within-DAN coupling are elevated during task performance, but also that intrinsic connectivity patterns are largely preserved during the task. With regard to the second issue, results show that interhemispheric imbalances of intrahemispheric UFC and DFC both within the DAN and between the DAN and VOC strongly correlate with neglect severity, and may co-occur with functional decoupling of the hemispheres. This work thus demonstrates that the intrinsic functional integrity of the DAN and its relationship to VOC is crucial for the endogenous control of visuospatial attention during tasks, and that the compromise of this integrity due to stroke likely plays a role in producing spatial neglect.
Title: Large-Scale Cortical Functional Connectivity Underlying Visuospatial Attention.
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Name(s): Meehan, Timothy Patrick, author
Bressler, Steven L., Thesis advisor
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science
Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Created: 2016
Date Issued: 2016
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 319 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: The endogenous, or voluntary, control of visuospatial attention relies upon interactions within a frontoparietal dorsal attention network (DAN) and this network’s top-down influence on visual occipital cortex (VOC). While these interactions have been shown to occur during attention tasks, they are also known to occur to some extent at rest, but the degree to which task-related interactions reflect either modulation or reorganization of such ongoing intrinsic interactions is poorly understood. In addition, it is known that in spatial neglect—a syndrome following unilateral brain lesions in which patients fail to attend to the contralesional side of space—symptom severity covaries with disruptions to intrinsic interhemispheric interactions between left and right homologous regions of the DAN; however, similar covariance with disruptions to intrahemispheric interactions within the DAN, and between the DAN and VOC, has not been demonstrated. These issues are addressed herein via the measurement of both undirected and directed functional connectivity (UFC, DFC) within the DAN and between the DAN and VOC. UFC and DFC were derived from correlations of, and multivariate vector autoregressive modeling of, fMRI BOLD time-series, respectively. Time-series were recorded from individuals performing an anticipatory visuospatial attention task and individuals at rest, as well as from stroke patients either with or without neglect and age-matched healthy controls. With regard to the first issue, the results show that relative to rest, top-down DAN-to-VOC influence and within-DAN coupling are elevated during task performance, but also that intrinsic connectivity patterns are largely preserved during the task. With regard to the second issue, results show that interhemispheric imbalances of intrahemispheric UFC and DFC both within the DAN and between the DAN and VOC strongly correlate with neglect severity, and may co-occur with functional decoupling of the hemispheres. This work thus demonstrates that the intrinsic functional integrity of the DAN and its relationship to VOC is crucial for the endogenous control of visuospatial attention during tasks, and that the compromise of this integrity due to stroke likely plays a role in producing spatial neglect.
Identifier: FA00004613 (IID)
Degree granted: Dissertation (Ph.D.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2016.
Collection: FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Note(s): Includes bibliography.
Subject(s): Cognitive neuroscience.
Sensorimotor integration.
Space perception.
Selectivity (Psychology)
Recognition (Psychology)
Brain mapping.
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Sublocation: Digital Library
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00004613
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author, with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.