Contributions of the parietal and frontal lobes to sustained attention and habituation

Academic Article


  • The parietal cortex may be important in sustaining attention toward visual stimuli in peripheral space whereas the frontal cortex may mediate selective attention through habituation to peripheral stimuli. To test this hypothesis, patients with focal lesions of either the parietal or frontal cortex or both and normal controls were studied using a paradigm known as Troxler fading. Accordingly, if one fixates on a centrally located stimulus and attends to a stationary stimulus in peripheral vision, the peripheral stimulus quickly fades from awareness (i.e. Troxler fading: Troxler [Verschwinden, unseres, Opthal, Vol. 2, pp. 51-53. Fromann, Jena, 1804]). Movement of the peripheral stimulus of the retina normally prevents Troxler fading. Results indicated that patients with parietal lesions not only reported accelerated Troxler fading but also reported fading of moving peripheral stimuli contralateral to their brain lesion. In contrast, patient with frontal lesions rarely reported Troxler fading. In one patient with a left parietal and a right frontal lobe lesion fading was hemi-spatially dissociated, being accelerated in right hemispace but absent in left hemispace. These observations suggest that the parietal and frontal cortices play complementary roles in attentional processing. © 1994.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Neuropsychologia  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 12646615
  • Author List

  • Mennemeier MS; Chatterjee A; Watson RT; Wertman E; Carter LP; Heilman KM
  • Start Page

  • 703
  • End Page

  • 716
  • Volume

  • 32
  • Issue

  • 6