The interaction between goal-directed and stimulus-driven attentional control allows humans to rapidly reorient to relevant objects outside the focus of attention--a phenomenon termed contingent reorienting. Neuroimaging studies have observed activation of the ventral and dorsal attentional networks, but specific involvement of each network remains unclear. The present study aimed to determine whether both networks are critical to the processes of top-down contingent reorienting. To this end, we combined the contingent attentional capture paradigm with the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to interfere with temporoparietal junction (TPJ; ventral network) and frontal eye field (dorsal network) activity. The results showed that only right TPJ (rTPJ) TMS modulated contingent orienting. Furthermore, this modulation was highly dependent on visual fields: rTPJ TMS increased contingent capture in the left visual field and decreased the effect in the right visual field. These results demonstrate a critical involvement of the ventral network in attentional reorienting and reveal the spatial selectivity within such network.
Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.