There is growing evidence that auditory selective attention operates via distinct facilitatory and inhibitory mechanisms enabling selective enhancement and suppression of sound processing, respectively. The lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) plays a crucial role in the top-down control of selective attention. However, whether the LPFC controls facilitatory, inhibitory, or both attentional mechanisms is unclear. Facilitatory and inhibitory mechanisms were assessed, in patients with LPFC damage, by comparing event-related potentials (ERPs) to attended and ignored sounds with ERPs to these same sounds when attention was equally distributed to all sounds. In control subjects, we observed 2 late frontally distributed ERP components: a transient facilitatory component occurring from 150 to 250 ms after sound onset; and an inhibitory component onsetting at 250 ms. Only the facilitatory component was affected in patients with LPFC damage: this component was absent when attending to sounds delivered in the ear contralateral to the lesion, with the most prominent decreases observed over the damaged brain regions. These findings have 2 important implications: (i) they provide evidence for functionally distinct facilitatory and inhibitory me...Continue Reading
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Attention is involved in all cognitive activities, and attention disorders are reported in patients with various neurological diseases. Here are the latest discoveries pertaining to attention disorders.
Auditory perception is the ability to receive and interpret information attained by the ears. Here is the latest research on factors and underlying mechanisms that influence auditory perception.