Complex, multifocal, individual-specific attention-related cortical functional circuits
BASILE,LUIS F. H.
Recent studies focusing on the analysis of individual patterns of non-sensory-motor CNS activity may significantly alter our view of CNS functional mapping. We have recently provided evidence for highly variable attention-related Slow Potential (SP) generating cortical areas across individuals (Basile et al., 2003, 2006). In this work, we present new evidence, searching for other physiological indexes of attention by a new use of a well established method, for individual-specific sets of cortical areas active during expecting attention. We applied latency corrected peak averaging to oscillatory bursts, from 124-channel EEG recordings, and modeled their generators by current density reconstruction. We first computed event-related total power, and averaging was based on individual patterns of narrow task-induced band-power. This method is sensitive to activity out of synchrony with stimuli, and may detect task-related changes missed by regular Event-Related Potential (ERP) averaging. We additionally analyzed overall inter-electrode phase-coherence. The main results were (1) the detection of two bands of attention-induced beta range oscillations (around 25 and 21 Hz), whose scalp topography and current density cortical distribution were complex multi-focal, and highly variable across subjects, including prefrontal and posterior cortical areas. Most important, however, was the observation that (2) the generators of task-induced oscillations are largely the same individual-specific sets of cortical areas active during the resting, baseline state. We concluded that attention-related electrical cortical activity is highly individual-specific (significantly different from sensory-related visual evoked potentials or delta and theta induced band-power), and to a great extent already established during mere wakefulness. We discuss the critical implications of those results, in combination with other studies presenting individual data, to functional mapping: the need to abandon group averaging of task-related cortical activity and to revise studies on group averaged data, since the assumption of universal function to each cortical area appears deeply challenged. Clinical implications regard the interpretation of focal lesion consequences, functional reorganization, and neurosurgical planning