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Journal Article

Citation

Hein G, Alink A, Kleinschmidt A, Müller NG. PLoS One 2007; 2(3): e320.

Affiliation

Cognitive Neurology Unit, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. ghein@berkeley.edu

Copyright

(Copyright © 2007, Public Library of Science)

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0000320

PMID

17389911

PMCID

PMC1824707

Abstract

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.


Language: en

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