Abstract

Orienting and motor attention are known to recruit different regions within right and left parietal lobes. However, the time course and the role played by these modules when visual information competes for different motor response are still unknown. To deal with this issue, single-pulse TMS was applied over the angular (AG) and the supramarginal (SMG) gyri of both hemispheres at several time intervals during the execution of a Simon task. Suppression of the conflict between stimulus and response positions (i.e., the Simon effect) was found when TMS pulse was applied 130 msec after stimulus onset over the right AG and after 160 msec when applied over the left AG and SMG. Interestingly, only stimulation of the left SMG suppressed the asymmetry in conflict magnitude between left- and right-hand responses, usually observed in the Simon task. The present data show that orienting attention and motor attention processes are temporally, functionally, and spatially separated in the posterior parietal cortex, and both contribute to prime motor response during spatial conflict.

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