Connectivity of Frontoparietal Regions Reveals Executive Attention and Consciousness Interactions
Paz-Alonso, Pedro M.
Chica, Ana B.
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Mar Martín-Signes, Pedro M Paz-Alonso, Ana B Chica, Connectivity of Frontoparietal Regions Reveals Executive Attention and Consciousness Interactions, Cerebral Cortex, Volume 29, Issue 11, November 2019, Pages 4539–4550, https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhy332
The executive control network is involved in the voluntary control of novel and complex situations. Solving conflict situations or detecting errors have demonstrated to impair conscious perception of near-threshold stimuli. The aim of this study was to explore the neural mechanisms underlying executive control and its interaction with conscious perception using functional magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion-weighted imaging. To this end, we used a dual-task paradigm involving Stroop and conscious detection tasks with near-threshold stimuli. A set of prefrontal and frontoparietal regions were more strongly engaged for incongruent than congruent trials while a distributed set of frontoparietal regions showed stronger activation for consciously than nonconsciously perceived trials. Functional connectivity analysis revealed an interaction between executive control and conscious perception in frontal and parietal nodes. The microstructural properties of the middle branch of the superior longitudinal fasciculus were associated with neural measures of the interaction between executive control and consciousness. These results demonstrate that conscious perception and executive control share neural resources in frontoparietal networks, as proposed by some influential models.