Brain Res. 2014 Oct 2;1583:159-68 doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2014.08.002. 2014 Aug 12.

Functional connectivity of dorsal and ventral frontoparietal seed regions during auditory orienting

Rossi S, Huang S, Furtak SC, Belliveau JW, Ahveninen J.


Our ability to refocus auditory attention is vital for even the most routine day-to-day activities. Shifts in auditory attention can be initiated "voluntarily," or triggered "involuntarily" by unexpected novel sound events. Here we employed psychophysiological interaction (PPI) analyses of auditory functional MRI data, to compare functional connectivity patterns of distinct frontoparietal cortex regions during cued voluntary vs. novelty-driven involuntary auditory attention shifting. Overall, our frontoparietal seed regions exhibited significant PPI increases with auditory cortex (AC) areas during both cued and novelty-driven orienting. However, significant positive PPI patterns associated with voluntary auditory attention (cue>novel task regressor), but mostly absent in analyses emphasizing involuntary orienting (novel>cue task regressor), were observed with seeds within the frontal eye fields (FEF), superior parietal lobule (SPL), and right supramarginal gyri (SMG). In contrast, significant positive PPIs associated selectively with involuntary orienting were observed between ACs and seeds within the bilateral anterior interior frontal gyri (IFG), left posterior IFG, SMG, and posterior cingulate cortices (PCC). We also found indices of lateralization of different attention networks: PPI increases selective to voluntary attention occurred primarily within right-hemispheric regions, whereas those related to involuntary orienting were more frequent with left-hemisphere seeds. In conclusion, despite certain similarities in PPI patterns across conditions, the more dorsal aspects of right frontoparietal cortex demonstrated wider connectivity during cued/voluntary attention shifting, whereas certain left ventral frontoparietal seeds were more widely connected during novelty-triggered/involuntary orienting. Our findings provide partial support for distinct attention networks for voluntary and involuntary auditory attention.

PMID: 25128464