Visual attentional capacity is severely limited, but humans excel in familiar visual contexts, in part because long-term memories guide efficient deployment of attention. To investigate the neural substrates that support memory-guided visual attention, we performed a set of functional MRI experiments that contrast long-term, memory-guided visuospatial attention with stimulus-guided visuospatial attention in a change detection task. Whereas the dorsal attention network was activated for both forms of attention, the cognitive control network(CCN) was preferentially activated during memory-guided attention. Three posterior nodes in the CCN, posterior precuneus, posterior callosal sulcus/mid-cingulate, and lateral intraparietal sulcus exhibited the greatest specificity for memory-guided attention. These 3 regions exhibit functional connectivity at rest, and we propose that they form a subnetwork within the broader CCN. Based on the task activation patterns, we conclude that the nodes of this subnetwork are preferentially recruited for long-term memory guidance of visuospatial attention.
Keywords: change detection; functional MRI; functional connectivity; long-term memory; posterior parietal cortex.
Published by Oxford University Press 2015. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.