Distinct anatomy for visual search and bisection: A neuroimaging study


Individuals with spatial neglect following brain injury often show biased performance on landmark bisection tasks (judging if a single item is transected at its midpoint) and search tasks (where they seek target(s) from an array of items). Interestingly, it appears that bisection deficits dissociate from other measures of neglect (including search tasks), and neglect patients with bisection deficits typically have more posterior injury than those without these symptoms. While previous studies in healthy adults have examined each of these tasks independently, our aim was to directly contrast brain activity between these two tasks. Our design used displays that were interpreted as landmark bisection stimuli in some blocks of trials and as search arrays on other trials. Therefore, we used a design where low-level perceptual and motor responses were identical across tasks. Both tasks generated significant activity in bilateral midfusiform gyrus, largely right lateralized activity in the posterior parietal cortex, left lateralized activity in the left motor cortex (consistent with right handed response) and generally right lateralized insular activation. Several brain areas showed task-selective activations when the two tasks were directly compared. Specifically, the superior parietal cortex was selectively activated during the landmark task. On the other hand, the search task caused stronger bilateral activation in the anterior insula, along with midfusiform gyrus, medial superior frontal areas, thalamus and right putamen. This work demonstrates that healthy adults show an anatomical dissociation for visual search and bisection behavior similar to that reported in neurological patients, and provides coordinates for future brain stimulation studies.

DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.04.066

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@article{Revill2011DistinctAF, title={Distinct anatomy for visual search and bisection: A neuroimaging study}, author={Kathleen Pirog Revill and Hans-Otto Karnath and Chris Rorden}, journal={NeuroImage}, year={2011}, volume={57 2}, pages={476-81} }