Poster C9, Sunday, March 25, 1:00-3:00 pm, Exhibit Hall C
Dynamics of parietal lobe activity predict variability in sustained attention
AJ Simon1, Richard Campusano1, Josh Volponi1, Sasha Skinner1, Joaquin Anguera1, Adam Gazzaley1, David A. Ziegler1; 1UCSF, 2UCSF, 3UCSF, 4UCSF, 5UCSF, 6UCSF, 7UCSF
Response time variability (RTV) during cognitive tasks is an indicator of sustained attention abilities in healthy adults. While brain networks that are related to sustained attention abilities have been identified, the relationship between variance in activity in these networks and RTV has seldom been explored. In the present study, we investigated the relationship between variance in activity in key attentional areas and RTV. Forty-four healthy young adults performed a visual sustained attention task while undergoing electroencephalography. We found that variability in the spectral power of parietal beta oscillations, bilaterally, was positively correlated with RTV, while beta power in right parietal electrodes was negatively correlated with RTV. Moreover, beta power was uncorrelated with beta variability, but multiple regression showed that the two interacted to predict RTV, such that high beta power and low variability were better indicators of low RTV than either measure alone. Given the tight link between visual attention and posterior cortical activity, we also investigated the relationship between RTV, activity in parietal regions, and visual cortical responses. We found a negative correlation between P1 amplitude in lateral occipital electrodes, and a positive correlation between P1 amplitude and right parietal beta power, suggesting that parietal beta power is related to enhanced visual processing and behavioral measures of sustained attention. These results suggest that both the strength and consistency of attention-related oscillatory activity uniquely contribute to sustained attention abilities. Taken together, these results improve our understanding of how trial-by-trial fluctuations in parietal lobe activity impact sustained attention.
Topic Area: ATTENTION: Spatial