Objectives Healthy people have a slight leftward bias of spatial attention as measured on the Landmark task. Former studies indicated that lateralisation of brain activation contributes to this attentional bias. In this study we hypothesised that if the spatial bias was consistent over several measurements there would be structural background of it. Methods Reproducibility of the spatial bias of visuo-spatial attention was measured in twenty healthy subject in a Landmark task over three consecutive days. In order to evaluate the correlation between the spatial attentional bias and the white matter microstructure high angular resolution diffusion MRI was acquired for each subjects. The Track Based Spatial Statistics method was used to measure the hemispheric differences of the white matter microstructure. Probabilistic tractography was used to reveal the connection of the identified regions. Results The analysis showed correlation between the behavioural scores and the lateralisation of the white matter microstructure in the parietal white matter (p<0.05, corrected for multiple correlations). Higher FA values on the left are associated to rightward bias. The parietal cluster showed connectivity along the superior longitudinal fascicle on one end to posterior parietal cortex and anteriorly to the putative frontal eye field. From the frontal eye field some of the fibres run towards the nodes of the dorsal attention network to the intraparietal suclus, while some of the fibres travelled toward to ventral attention network to the temporo-parietal junction. Conclusions These results indicate that the structural integrity dorsal fronto-parietal network and the connection between the dorsal and ventral attention networks are responsible for the attentional bias in normal healthy controls.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)