Neuroimaging studies of shifting attention: a meta-analysis.

Citation: Wager, T. D., Jonides, J., Reading, S.. (2004). Neuroimaging studies of shifting attention: a meta-analysis. Neuroimage, 4, 1679-93.

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This paper reports a meta-analysis of neuroimaging studies of attention shifting and executive processes in working memory. We analyzed peak activation coordinates from 31 fMRI and PET studies of five types of shifting using kernel-based methods [NeuroImage 19 (2003) 513]. Analyses collapsing across different types of shifting gave more consistent results overall than analysis within individual types, suggesting a commonality across types of shifting. These areas shared substantial, significant overlap with regions derived from kernel-based analyses of reported peaks for executive processes in working memory (WM). The results suggest that there is a common set of brain regions active in diverse executive control operations, including medial prefrontal, superior and inferior parietal, medial parietal, and premotor cortices. However, within several of these regions, different types of switching produced spatially discriminable activation foci. Precise locations of meta analysis-derived regions from both attention shifting and working memory are defined electronically and may be used as regions of interest in future studies.