The role of frontal and temporal lobes in visual discrimination task--depth ERP studies

Neurophysiol Clin. 1999 Sep;29(4):339-50. doi: 10.1016/s0987-7053(99)90047-3.


Visual event-related potentials were simultaneously recorded from different anatomical structures within frontal and temporal lobes in 12 epileptic patients. A simple discrimination task was performed to complement previous studies on the localization of P3 generators in the human brain. The role of multiple cortical structures in the generation of both P3a and P3b components was confirmed. Activities contemporary to a visual P3b were recorded in the hippocampus, amygdala and temporal pole. Anterior cingulate and orbitofrontal cortices-generated activities more closely related in time to the surface P3a. Earlier events related to visual discrimination took place in more lateral sites of the frontal lobe, but their contribution to the scalp P3 remains uncertain. Subsequently, mutual temporal relations among single generators were analyzed. The results suggested a processing-level hierarchy within the neural network for directed attention with a key role played by the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Discrimination, Psychological / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Temporal Lobe / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*