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Title: Peripheral Attentional Targets under Covert Attention Lead to Paradoxically Enhanced Alpha Desynchronization in Neurofibromatosis Type 1
Authors: Silva, Gilberto 
Ribeiro, Maria J. 
Costa, Gabriel N 
Violante, Inês 
Ramos, Fabiana 
Saraiva, Jorge 
Castelo-Branco, Miguel 
Issue Date: 2016
Project: CENTRO-07-ST24-FEDER-00205 
From molecules to man: novel diagnostic imaging tools in neurological and psychiatric disorders 1176470,59 Euros 2013-2015; FP7-HEALTH-2013-INNOVATION - 1 - 602186 
BRAINTRAIN— Taking imaging into the therapeutic domain: Self-regulation of brain systems for mental disorders; POCI-01-0145-FEDER-007440, CNC.IBILI, Compete, UID/NEU/04539/2013 
Bial 133/ 2012 A direct test of the binding by synchrony hypothesis in humans: the neural correlates of coherent object perception, Bial Foundation, 2013 
Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, PTDC/SAUORG/ 118380/201 
Serial title, monograph or event: PLoS One
Volume: 11
Issue: 2
Abstract: The limited capacity of the human brain to process the full extent of visual information reaching the visual cortex requires the recruitment of mechanisms of information selection through attention. Neurofibromatosis type-1 (NF1) is a neurodevelopmental disease often exhibiting attentional deficits and learning disabilities, and is considered to model similar impairments common in other neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism. In a previous study, we found that patients with NF1 are more prone to miss targets under overt attention conditions. This finding was interpreted as a result of increased occipito-parietal alpha oscillations. In the present study, we used electroencephalography (EEG) to study alpha power modulations and the performance of patients with NF1 in a covert attention task. Covert attention was required in order to perceive changes (target offset) of a peripherally presented stimulus. Interestingly, alpha oscillations were found to undergo greater desynchronization under this task in the NF1 group compared with control subjects. A similar pattern of desynchronization was found for beta frequencies while no changes in gamma oscillations could be identified. These results are consistent with the notion that different attentional states and task demands generate different patterns of abnormal modulation of alpha oscillatory processes in NF1. Under covert attention conditions and while target offset was reported with relatively high accuracy (over 90% correct responses), excessive desynchronization was found. These findings suggest an abnormal modulation of oscillatory activity and attentional processes in NF1. Given the known role of alpha in modulating attention, we suggest that alpha patterns can show both abnormal increases and decreases that are task and performance dependent, in a way that enhanced alpha desynchronization may reflect a compensatory mechanism to keep performance at normal levels. These results suggest that dysregulation of alpha oscillations may occur in NF1 both in terms of excessive or diminished activation patterns.
ISSN: 1932-6203
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0148600
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D IBILI - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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