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Plos One : Neural Correlates of Individual Performance Differences in Resolving Perceptual Conflict, Volume 7

By Hamed, Suliann, Ben

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Book Id: WPLBN0003957440
Format Type: PDF eBook :
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Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Plos One : Neural Correlates of Individual Performance Differences in Resolving Perceptual Conflict, Volume 7  
Author: Hamed, Suliann, Ben
Volume: Volume 7
Language: English
Subject: Journals, Science, Medical Science
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection
Publication Date:
Publisher: Plos


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Hamed, S. B. (n.d.). Plos One : Neural Correlates of Individual Performance Differences in Resolving Perceptual Conflict, Volume 7. Retrieved from

Description : Attentional mechanisms are a crucial prerequisite to organize behavior. Most situations may be characterized by a ‘competition’ between salient, but irrelevant stimuli and less salient, relevant stimuli. In such situations top-down and bottom-up mechanisms interact with each other. In the present fMRI study, we examined how interindividual differences in resolving situations of perceptual conflict are reflected in brain networks mediating attentional selection. Doing so, we employed a change detection task in which subjects had to detect luminance changes in the presence and absence of competing distractors. The results show that good performers presented increased activation in the orbitofrontal cortex (BA 11), anterior cingulate (BA 25), inferior parietal lobule (BA 40) and visual areas V2 and V3 but decreased activation in BA 39. This suggests that areas mediating top-down attentional control are stronger activated in this group. Increased activity in visual areas reflects distinct neuronal enhancement relating to selective attentional mechanisms in order to solve the perceptual conflict. Opposed to good performers, brain areas activated by poor performers comprised the left inferior parietal lobule (BA 39) and fronto-parietal and visual regions were continuously deactivated, suggesting that poor performers perceive stronger conflict than good performers. Moreover, the suppression of neural activation in visual areas might indicate a strategy of poor performers to inhibit the processing of the irrelevant non-target feature. These results indicate that high sensitivity in perceptual areas and increased attentional control led to less conflict in stimulus processing and consequently to higher performance in competitive attentional selection.


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