Neuropathology of attention

Professor Philip Shaw discusses research that indicates a pattern of right-hemisphere dominance for attention in the mature brain.

In most typically developing children, you find there’s a general shift with development of very complex functions of attention, such as visual spatial working memory, or the ability to inhibit an inappropriate response. Whenever they are younger, activity tends to be quite diffuse all over the brain, but as they get older it becomes much more focal and goes to the right side of the brain, particularly for things such as inhibiting inappropriate responses, and localizes to the right inferior frontal gyrus. So, with age, for lots of complex attention functions and working memory functions, there is a general shift from quite diffuse activation activity in early childhood, to more right-lateralized activity as the child reaches (grows into) adolescence.

attention, neuropathology, hemisphere, dominance, inferior, frontal, gyrus, mature, brain, philip, shaw

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