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In 2016, Dr. Mangun presented the Radboud Excellence Lecture in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. The talk, titled, “Attention, Awareness and Free Will: From Synapse to Neural Systems”, provided a theoretic overview of the field of attention research, using examples from research in the lab, including studies using brain imaging, and macroscopic and cellular recordings of brain activity.
In a new paper published in in 2017 in NeuroImage, postdoctoral fellow Yuelu Liu led a team to apply graph-theoretic measures to fMRI data to investigated the network mechanisms underlying spontaneous voluntary decisions about where to focus visual-spatial attention (willed attention). Graph-theoretic analysis of two independent datasets revealed that regions activated during willed attention form a set of functionally-distinct networks corresponding to the frontoparietal network, the cingulo-opercular network, and the dorsal attention network. Contrasting willed attention with instructed attention (where attention is directed by external cues), it was found that the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex was allied with the dorsal attention network in instructed attention, but shifted connectivity during willed attention to interact with the cingulo-opercular network, which then mediated communications between the frontoparietal network and the dorsal attention network. Behaviorally, greater connectivity in network hubs, including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, and the inferior parietal lobule, was associated with faster reaction times. These results, shown to be consistent across the two independent datasets, uncover the dynamic reorganization of functionally-distinct networks engaged to support intention.
Liu, Y., Hong, X., Bengson, J.J., Kelley, T.A., Ding, M., & Mangun, G.R. (2017). Deciding where to attend: Large-scale network mechanisms underlying attention and intention revealed by graph-theoretic analysis. Neuroimage, May 26. pii: S1053-8119(17)30447-0. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2017.05.048. [Epub ahead of print]
A recent CMB news blurb highlights an article published in the “Journal Club” section of the Journal of Neuroscience by Mangun Lab graduate student researcher Ashley Royston and her lead research assistant Jaime Napan, along with coauthors Felix Bacigalupo—a fellow trainee at the Center for Mind and Brain (CMB)—and UC Davis neuroscience alumnus Zachary Davis, PhD.
On March 12, 2016, Mangun Lab trainees Ashley Royston (graduate student) and Jaime Napan (research assistant) participated in the nationwide annual Brain Awareness Week (BAW). Royston and Napan showcased some of the types of research conducted in the Mangun Lab as part of a public seminar series on the topic of “The Healthy Aging Brain” held at the Center for Neuroscience. Napan is shown here with a poster created in collaboration with Mangun Lab trainees Kira Anderson (research assistant) and Royston. Napan later accepted the second place award for their poster, with judging carried out by the public at this BAW event.
Mangun Lab ASPIRE student Kelsey Klein presented her preliminary findings at the second annual ASPIRE Symposium, held as part of the annual Center for Mind and Brain Poster Day on June 3, 2016. Klein’s results suggest that differences in position of eye fixation with respect to visual stimulation may have a notable effect on scalp-recorded event-related potentials, indicating that it is important to tightly control locus of fixation in studies of psychological processes that make use of visual stimuli. This event marked Klein’s first scientific presentation and served only to whet her appetite for scientific research, according to Klein. (Here Klein is shown discussing her study with Center for Mind and Brain Research Scientist Clif Saron.)
CURE AUTISM NOW (CAN) Grant Awarded to Dr. Saron
Jesse Bengson presented his research in a talk at the CSAIL Meeting in July, 2010. He described his studies of attention and working memory capacity. This work, with additional studies, is now in press in the journal Attention, Perception and Psychophysics.