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PSYC 330 Lecture Notes - Temporoparietal Junction, Auditory Cortex, Occipital Lobe

Course Code
PSYC 330
Richard Wright

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There isn't one memory or attention area! They're spread all over the brain.
Check out some TED talks (a clip from today will be from TED talk)
Built on the second lecture
The two hemisphere are completely separate from one another , but communicate through
corpus collosum
[TED talk] Julia, the neuroscientist, had a stroke
Probably easier to say which areas AREN'T
What brain areas mediate attention?
Reticular activating system (RAS) -- associated with production of neurotransmitter and
Superior colliculus -- plays a major role in programming of saccades (maps of current
location & destination)
Pulvinar (region of thamalus) -- filtering other stimuli so you can focus on attended stimulus,
esp. spatial attention
Anterior cingulate cortex -- interference (Stroop effect)
Parietal cortex
Frontal cortex -- controls other types of processing, esp. orienting network
Attention's critical brain areas
Lots of research based on studies on [macaque] monkey
Lots of similarities in temporal cortex
Direct cuing works on monkeys (stimulus-driven), but even faster than human (shows same
pattern though)
What have we learned from studying the monkey brain
Overview of Brain StructureI.
Esp. the thalamus and superior colliculus
"older part of the brain"
More reflexive, less cognitive
Thalamus, pulvinar nucleus, superior colliculus, RAS
Subcortex and involuntary attention
Looking at the effects of different neurotransmitters on attention processing
Still a new field
e.g., in Parkinson there's a deficit in dopamine & break down of attentional processing
Dopamine -- frontal cortical processing, serves executive function
Raphe nucleus
Associated with low arousal routine activity (high level of serotonin)
Serotonin -- related to depressive symptoms,
Associated with alertness/arousal
Reciprocal relationship with serotonin in terms of arousal
Norepinephrine -- related to adrenaline, learning
Chemical basis of attention
Subcortical Attentional Processing II.
Physiology of Attention
11:45 PM
P330 Attention Page 1
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Reciprocal relationship with serotonin in terms of arousal
b/c it's so based on monkeys look at their saccadic eye movements
Used micro-stimulation or single cell recording
Looking at eye movements were BIG! This was such a boom
Confirmed in human with PET (after it was invented)
Superior colliculus activates when shifting attention, even if monkey doesn't move eyes
Eyes are on fixation cross but attending to the light higher firing rates
[Experiment] eyes are on fixation cross and not paying attention to the light lower firing
Focused attention and superior colliculus activity
Damage to the superior colliculus = no IOR
Inhibition of Return (IOR) involves superior colliculus
Parkinson like disease
Also affects eye movements, starting with vertical movements; not until later stages that
horizontal movements degrade
Reaction time in cued = uncued
No slope = no IOR
[Experiment at those in earlier stages of PSP] P can move their attention left/right (and
show IOR), but has difficulty for top/bottom shifts (show less IOR)
One source of evidence that superior colliculu is important for IOR
Progressive Supranuclear palsy (PSP) affects superior colliculus
IOR performance, compared to age matched P no IOR (no slope between un/cued)
When treatment targets thiamine deficiency, they fixed this problem
Essar had thiamine deficiency disrupts superior colliculus and IOR
Other than smell, all sensory input must pass through thalamus
Nice bottleneck role (Remember the structural bottle neck of attentional listening? This is
like a similar idea)
Thalamus is the gateway between subcortex and cortex
If damaged (by stroke, lesions): attentional filtering starts to break down
Pulvinar activated when P is blocking out visual information to focus on target (attentional
filtering of distractors)
Maybe they have thalamus dysfunction~
[will come back to this when we talk about ADD]
Primarily the parietal lobe
Occipital lobe -- visual processing
Temporal -- more varied; associated with auditory lobe, but there's some complex visual
processing (pattern, face recognition)
Spatial neglect
Spatial attention [more on this on another week]
Active no matter what kind of attention task P is doing
Different from monkeys' brains
Parietal -- lots of attentional operations are carried out here
Seat of consciousness (prefrontal cortex, or thalamus? People can still function without
frontal, but not without thalamus)
Frontal -- controlling attentional processing
[Experiment] look at fixation cross, shift attention to side of display
Activation occurs in contralateral hemisphere (i.e., right side of fixation cross, activation in
Visual ERPs and covert orienting
Cortical Attentional ProcessingIII.
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