Voluntary attention modulates fMRI activity in human MT-MST

Neuron. 1997 Apr;18(4):591-8. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(00)80300-1.


How does voluntary attention to one attribute of a visual stimulus affect the neural processing of that stimulus? We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine the attentional modulation of neural activity in the human homolog of the MT-MST complex, which is known to be involved in the processing of visual motion. Using a visual stimulus containing both moving and stationary dots, we found significantly more MT-MST activation when subjects attended to the moving dots than when they attended to the stationary dots, even though the visual stimulus was identical during the two conditions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Eye Movements / physiology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Middle Aged
  • Motion Perception / physiology*
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*
  • Volition