Cortical localization of human sustained attention: Detection with functional MR using a visual vigilance paradigm

Jonathan S. Lewin, Lee Friedman, Dee Wu, David A. Miller, Lee A. Thompson, Susan K. Klein, Alexandria L. Wise, Peter Hedera, Peter Buckley, Herbert Meltzer, Robert P. Friedland, Jeffrey L. Duerk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Scopus citations


Purpose: Our goal was to determine whether functional MRI on a standard 1.5 T system can localize activation during a visual vigilance sustained attention task and whether this corresponds to results described in a PET investigation of a similar task. Method: Sixteen volunteers were studied on a 1.5 T system using a gradient echo technique. A single axial section was oriented within a stereotaxic coordinate space, 40 mm superior to the anterior-posterior commissure line. Images with eyes closed were followed by images during subject concentration on a small dim spot. Motion correction and pixel-by-pixel statistical analysis were performed. Talairach grids were applied for summary statistical analysis and comparison to PET data, with analysis using a series of planned contrasts within a repeated measures analysis of variance. Results: Predominantly right-sided frontal and parietal activation was observed, with statistical significance across subjects in the right frontal lobe (F ≤ 5.9, p ≤ 0.041). Comparison with previously reported PET data yielded a very similar pattern of activation (F = 13.2; df = 1.8; p = 0.007). Conclusion: Activation of the right middle frontal gyrus and right parietal lobe during visual vigilance is detectable across functional imaging modalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)695-701
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Computer Assisted Tomography
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood, flow dynamics
  • Brain
  • Brain, blood flow
  • Magnetic resonance imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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