Competing neural responses for auditory and visual decisions

  • Why is it hard to divide attention between dissimilar activities, such as reading and listening to a conversation? We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study interference between simple auditory and visual decisions, independently of motor competition. Overlapping activity for auditory and visual tasks performed in isolation was found in lateral prefrontal regions, middle temporal cortex and parietal cortex. When the visual stimulus occurred during the processing of the tone, its activation in prefrontal and middle temporal cortex was suppressed. Additionally, reduced activity was seen in modality-specific visual cortex. These results paralleled impaired awareness of the visual event. Even without competing motor responses, a simple auditory decision interferes with visual processing on different neural levels, including prefrontal cortex, middle temporal cortex and visual regions.

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Author:Grit Hein, Arjen Alink, Andreas Kleinschmidt, Notger Germar Müller
Parent Title (English):PLoS One
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2007/03/28
Date of first Publication:2007/03/28
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2007/06/13
Issue:(3): e320
Copyright: © 2007 Hein 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.
Source:PLoS one 2(3): e320. - doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000320
Institutes:Medizin / Medizin
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 3.0