Attentional processes in typically developing children as revealed using brain event-related potentials and their source localization in Attention Network Test

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Attentional processes in typically developing children as revealed using brain event-related potentials and their source localization in Attention Network Test

Attention-related processes include three functional sub-components: alerting, orienting, and inhibition. We investigated these components using EEG-based, brain event-related potentials and their neuronal source activations during the Attention Network Test in typically developing school-aged children. Participants were asked to detect the swimming direction of the centre fish in a group of five fish. The target stimulus was either preceded by a cue (centre, double, or spatial) or no cue. An EEG using 128 electrodes was recorded for 83 children aged 12–13 years. RTs showed significant effects across all three sub-components of attention. Alerting and orienting (responses to double vs non-cued target stimulus and spatially vs centre-cued target stimulus, respectively) resulted in larger N1 amplitude, whereas inhibition (responses to incongruent vs congruent target stimulus) resulted in larger P3 amplitude. Neuronal source activation for the alerting effect was localized in the right anterior temporal and bilateral occipital lobes, for the orienting effect bilaterally in the occipital lobe, and for the inhibition effect in the medial prefrontal cortex and left anterior temporal lobe. Neuronal sources of ERPs revealed that sub-processes related to the attention network are different in children as compared to earlier adult fMRI studies, which was not evident from scalp ERPs.

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ISSN
2045-2322