The relationship between self-awareness of attentional status, behavioral performance and oscillatory brain rhythms

Yamagishi, Noriko and Anderson, Stephen (2013). The relationship between self-awareness of attentional status, behavioral performance and oscillatory brain rhythms. PLoS ONE, 8 (9),

Abstract

High-level cognitive factors, including self-awareness, are believed to play an important role in human visual perception. The principal aim of this study was to determine whether oscillatory brain rhythms play a role in the neural processes involved in self-monitoring attentional status. To do so we measured cortical activity using magnetoencephalography (MEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while participants were asked to self-monitor their internal status, only initiating the presentation of a stimulus when they perceived their attentional focus to be maximal. We employed a hierarchical Bayesian method that uses fMRI results as soft-constrained spatial information to solve the MEG inverse problem, allowing us to estimate cortical currents in the order of millimeters and milliseconds. Our results show that, during self-monitoring of internal status, there was a sustained decrease in power within the 7-13 Hz (alpha) range in the rostral cingulate motor area (rCMA) on the human medial wall, beginning approximately 430 msec after the trial start (p < 0.05, FDR corrected). We also show that gamma-band power (41-47 Hz) within this area was positively correlated with task performance from 40-640 msec after the trial start (r = 0.71, p < 0.05). We conclude: (1) the rCMA is involved in processes governing self-monitoring of internal status; and (2) the qualitative differences between alpha and gamma activity are reflective of their different roles in self-monitoring internal states. We suggest that alpha suppression may reflect a strengthening of top-down interareal connections, while a positive correlation between gamma activity and task performance indicates that gamma may play an important role in guiding visuomotor behavior. © 2013 Yamagishi et al.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0074962
Divisions: Life & Health Sciences > Optometry
Life & Health Sciences
Additional Information: © 2013 Yamagishi et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Uncontrolled Keywords: attention,gamma,oscillatory activity,self-awareness,Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all),Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all),Medicine(all)
Full Text Link: http://www.plos ... al.pone.0074962
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
Published Date: 2013-09-17
Authors: Yamagishi, Noriko
Anderson, Stephen ( 0000-0002-5719-2846)

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