A lateralized brain network for visuospatial attention

Journal name:
Nature Neuroscience
Volume:
14,
Pages:
1245–1246
Year published:
DOI:
doi:10.1038/nn.2905
Received
Accepted
Published online
Corrected online

Right hemisphere dominance for visuospatial attention is characteristic of most humans, but its anatomical basis remains unknown. We report the first evidence in humans for a larger parieto-frontal network in the right than left hemisphere, and a significant correlation between the degree of anatomical lateralization and asymmetry of performance on visuospatial tasks. Our results suggest that hemispheric specialization is associated with an unbalanced speed of visuospatial processing.

At a glance

Figures

  1. The three branches of the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF I, II and III).
    Figure 1: The three branches of the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF I, II and III).

    (a,b) Comparison between axonal tracing in monkey6, 10 (a) and in vivo spherical deconvolution (SD) tractography in humans (b). Three-dimensional reconstructions are displayed at the top of each panel, and coronal sections at the indicated y planes are at the bottom.

  2. Correlations between anatomical and behavioral lateralizations.
    Figure 2: Correlations between anatomical and behavioral lateralizations.

    (a) Hemispheric lateralization of the three SLF branches, with 95% confidence intervals. (b,c) Correlations between the lateralization of the SLF II and both the deviation on the line bisection task (b) and the lateralization of the detection time (c). (d) Correlation between the deviation on the line bisection task and the detection time. *P < 0.05 and ***P < 0.001.

Change history

Corrected online 13 October 2011
In the version of this article initially published, the institute identifier was omitted from the INSERM affiliation of author Michel Thiebaut de Schotten. The correct affiliation should read Unité Mixte de Recherche (UMR) S 975. The error has been corrected in the HTML and PDF versions of the article.

References

  1. Sperry, R.W. Lateral Specialization in the Surgically Separated Hemispheres (Rockefeller Univ. Press, New York, 1974).
  2. Mesulam, M.M. Ann. Neurol. 10, 309325 (1981).
  3. Beis, J.M. et al. Neurology 63, 16001605 (2004).
  4. Heilman, K.M. & Van Den Abell, T. Neurology 30, 327330 (1980).
  5. Buschman, T.J. & Miller, E.K. Science 315, 18601862 (2007).
  6. Schmahmann, J.D. & Pandya, D.N. Fiber Pathways of the Brain (Oxford Univ. Press, New York, 2006).
  7. Makris, N. et al. Cereb. Cortex 15, 854869 (2005).
  8. Corbetta, M. & Shulman, G.L. Nat. Rev. Neurosci. 3, 201215 (2002).
  9. Dell'Acqua, F. et al. Neuroimage 49, 14461458 (2010).
  10. Petrides, M. & Pandya, D.N. J. Comp. Neurol. 228, 105116 (1984).
  11. Bowers, D. & Heilman, K.M. Neuropsychologia 18, 491498 (1980).
  12. Jewell, G. & McCourt, M.E. Neuropsychologia 38, 93110 (2000).
  13. Hursh, J.B. Am. J. Physiol. 127, 131139 (1939).
  14. Waxman, S.G. & Bennett, M.V. Nat. New Biol. 238, 217219 (1972).
  15. Posner, M.I. Q. J. Exp. Psychol. 32, 325 (1980).

Download references

Author information

  1. These authors contributed equally to this work.

    • Michel Thiebaut de Schotten &
    • Flavio Dell'Acqua

Affiliations

  1. Natbrainlab, Department of Forensic and Neurodevelopmental Sciences, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London, UK.

    • Michel Thiebaut de Schotten,
    • Flavio Dell'Acqua,
    • Stephanie J Forkel,
    • Declan G M Murphy &
    • Marco Catani
  2. INSERM–Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC) Unité Mixte de Recherche (UMR) S 975 Groupe Hospitalier (GH) Pitié–Salpêtrière, Paris, France.

    • Michel Thiebaut de Schotten
  3. Department of Neuroimaging, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London, UK.

    • Michel Thiebaut de Schotten,
    • Flavio Dell'Acqua,
    • Andrew Simmons &
    • Marco Catani
  4. National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre for Mental Health, London, UK.

    • Flavio Dell'Acqua &
    • Andrew Simmons
  5. Medical Research Council Centre for Neurodegeneration Research, King's College London, London, UK.

    • Andrew Simmons
  6. Department of Neurosurgery, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

    • Francesco Vergani

Contributions

M.T.d.S. conceived and coordinated the study, reviewed and collected neuropsychological data, performed the tractography dissections, helped with the post-mortem dissections and wrote the manuscript. F.D. developed the spherical deconvolution algorithm, collected and preprocessed the neuroimaging data before the dissections and helped drafting the manuscript. S.J.F. helped collecting neuropsychological data and drafting the manuscript. A.S. and D.G.M.M. provided funding for the neuroimaging data and helped to draft the manuscript. F.V. helped drafting the manuscript and performed the post-mortem dissections. M.C. helped to conceive and coordinate the study. M.C. also wrote the manuscript and performed the post-mortem dissections.

Competing financial interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to:

Author details

Supplementary information

PDF files

  1. Supplementary Text and Figures (4 MB)

    Supplementary Figures 1–8, Supplementary Tables 1 and 2, Supplementary Methods, Supplementary Results and Supplementary Note

Additional data