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The ventral attention network: the mirror of the language network in the right brain hemisphere

Abstract : Resting-state functional MRI (RfMRI) analyses have identified two anatomically separable fronto-parietal attention networks in the human brain: a bilateral dorsal attention network and a right-lateralised ventral attention network (VAN). The VAN has been implicated in visuospatial cognition and, thus, potentially in the unilateral spatial neglect associated with right hemisphere lesions. Its parietal, frontal and temporal endpoints are thought to be structurally supported by undefined white matter tracts. We investigated the white matter tract connecting the VAN. We used three approaches to study the structural anatomy of the VAN: (a) independent component analysis on RfMRI (50 subjects), defining the endpoints of the VAN, (b) tractography in the same 50 healthy volunteers, with regions of interest defined by the MNI coordinates of cortical areas involved in the VAN used in a seed-based approach and (c) dissection, by Klingler's method, of 20 right hemispheres, for ex vivo studies of the fibre tracts connecting VAN endpoints. The VAN includes the temporoparietal junction and the ventral frontal cortex. The endpoints of the superior longitudinal fasciculus in its third portion (SLF III) and the arcuate fasciculus (AF) overlap with the VAN endpoints. The SLF III connects the supramarginal gyrus to the ventral portion of the precentral gyrus and the pars opercularis. The AF connects the middle and inferior temporal gyrus and the middle and inferior frontal gyrus. We reconstructed the structural connectivity of the VAN and considered it in the context if the pathophysiology of unilateral neglect and right hemisphere awake brain surgery.
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Submitted on : Thursday, August 6, 2020 - 9:22:12 AM
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Florian Bernard, Jean-Michel Lemée, Edouard Mazerand, Louis-Marie Leiber, Philippe Menei, et al.. The ventral attention network: the mirror of the language network in the right brain hemisphere. Journal of Anatomy, Wiley, 2020, Online ahead of print. ⟨10.1111/joa.13223⟩. ⟨inserm-02912497⟩



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