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Functional Connectivity Across Dorsal And Ventral Attention Networks In Response To Task Difficulty And Experimental Pain

Fairclough, SH, Stamp, K and Dobbins, C (2022) Functional Connectivity Across Dorsal And Ventral Attention Networks In Response To Task Difficulty And Experimental Pain. Neuroscience Letters, 793. ISSN 0304-3940

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Open Access URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2022.136967 (published)


The dorsal and ventral attention networks (DAN & VAN) provide a framework for studying attentional modulation of pain. It has been argued that cognitive demand distracts attention from painful stimuli via top-down reinforcement of task goals (DAN), whereas pain exerts an interruptive effect on cognitive performance via bottom-up pathways (VAN). The current study explores this explanatory framework by manipulating pain and task demand in combination with functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) and Granger Causal Connectivity Analyses (GCCA). Twenty-one participants played a racing game at low and high difficulty levels with or without experimental pain (administered via a cold pressor test). Six channels of fNIRS were collected from bilateral frontal eye fields and intraparietal sulci (DAN), with right-lateralised channels at the inferior frontal gyrus and temporoparietal junction (VAN). Our first analysis revealed increased G-causality from bottom-up pathways (VAN) during the cold pressor test. However, an equivalent experience of experimental pain during gameplay increased G-causality in top-down (DAN) pathways, with the left intraparietal sulcus serving a hub of connectivity. High game difficulty increased G-causality via top-down pathways and implicated the right inferior frontal gyrus as an interhemispheric hub. Our results are discussed with reference to existing models of both networks and attentional modulation of pain.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1109 Neurosciences; 1701 Psychology; 1702 Cognitive Sciences
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions: Computer Science & Mathematics
Psychology (from Sep 2019)
Publisher: Elsevier
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2022 10:26
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2023 13:31
DOI or ID number: 10.1016/j.neulet.2022.136967
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/18158
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