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Neuropsychology of Attention Psychology 315 February 5, 2008

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Attention dysfunction is one of the most common manifestations of brain damage ... Clinical Neurology (5th Edition). Toronto, ON: McGraw-Hill. Superior Colliculus ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Neuropsychology of Attention Psychology 315 February 5, 2008


1
Neuropsychology of AttentionPsychology 315
February 5, 2008
2
(No Transcript)
3
Attention
  • Attention dysfunction is one of the most common
    manifestations of brain damage
  • Set of dynamic processes that influence the
    interaction between core cognitive functions and
    external environment
  • Attentional processes facilitate, enhance, or
    inhibit other cognitive processes
  • Attention is the ability to allocate cognitive
    resources to perform specific functions while
    possibly ignoring other stimuli

4
  • Attention is not a unitary process but a function
    of the interaction of at least 4 processes
  • Alertness and arousal
  • Sustained attention
  • Selective attention
  • Working memory

5
Alertness and Arousal
  • Awareness of information in the environment
  • Testing Behavioural observation

6
Sustained Attention
  • Remain alert and focused for extended time
  • Testing long, repetitious task

7
Selective Attention
  • Pick up salient information and ignore
    distractions

8
Working Memory
  • Complex task involving holding and manipulating
    information
  • on-line processing
  • Testing reorder groups of information multiply
    2 double - digit numbers

9
Primary areas of brain involved with Attention
  • Reticular Activating System
  • Superior Colliculus
  • Thalamus
  • Parietal lobe
  • Anterior Cingulate Cortex
  • Frontal lobe

10
Reticular Activating System
  • Cell bodies in brain stem, connections to cortex
  • Role alertness, arousal, sustained attention
  • Lesions
  • Coma
  • Chronic vegetative state
  • Stupor

Diagram Greenberg, D., Aminoff, M. Simon, R.
(2002). Clinical Neurology (5th Edition).
Toronto, ON McGraw-Hill.
11
Superior Colliculus
  • Directs attention to visual stimuli
  • Saccades rapid eye movements to bring peripheral
    stimuli into foveal vision
  • (a) Express saccades
  • (b) Regular saccades - frontal eye field
  • Lesions supranuclear palsy

12
Thalamus
  • Modulates arousal in cortex
  • -Medial dorsal, intralaminar, reticular
  • Selective attention
  • -pulvinar

13
Parietal lobe
  • Secondary filtering out of information
  • Allocates attentional resources
  • Superior portion shifts in attention and
    selecting a response
  • Feature integration theory blending of basic
    visual features
  • Lesions hemineglect

14
Anterior Cingulate Gyrus
  • Interface between subcortical and cortical
    regions
  • Responsible for selecting correct responses
  • Anterior choosing novel responses and/or
    complicated tasks

Diagram Neurolimage Analysis Lab. University of
North Carolina. Manual Tracing Protocal.
15
Frontal Lobe
  • Several roles, including selecting abstract
    responses, holding information on-line,
    initiating, and inhibiting responses
  • Executive Attention System or Anterior
    Attention System (Posner and Peterson)

16
  • Frontal eye field scanning
  • Orbital and medial portions inhibit movements
  • Lesions to frontal lobe
  • Hemispatial hypokinesia or directional
    hypokinesia
  • Motor neglect

17
Secondary Structures Influence on Attention
  • Amygdala
  • Hypothalamus
  • Suprachiasmic nucleus
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