Horváth, J., Maess, B., Berti, S., & Schröger, E. (2008). Primary motor area contribution to attentional reorienting after distraction. Neuroreport, 19(4), 443-446.

Primary motor area contribution to attentional reorienting after distraction

The anatomical structures involved in distraction-related processing in the auditory domain were investigated using magnetoencephalography. Participants performed a duration-discrimination task on a sequence of 200 and 400 ms long tones. Infrequent (12%) task-irrelevant pitch changes resulted in slower discriminative responses and more errors. Event-related potentials to these changes show an increased N1, a mismatch negativity, a P3a, and a reorienting negativity. The event-related magnetic fields revealed focal activities in superior and medial temporal areas in the N1/mismatch negativity time range. No significant activity was found in the P3a interval. In the reorienting negativity interval, significant activity was located in the primary motor area. This suggests that action-selection-related activity also contributes to attentional reorientation after distraction.


Cognitive and Biological Psychology

University of Leipzig
Faculty of Life Sciences
Institute of Psychology
Neumarkt 9-19
D-04109 Leipzig


Dagmar Schrödl
Phone: +49 341 97-39570
Email: dagmar dot schroedl at uni-leipzig dot de

Fax: +49 341 97-39271