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Acute hypoxia alters visuospatial attention orienting: an electrical neuroimaging study

Acute hypoxia alters visuospatial attention orienting: an electrical neuroimaging study

A. Zani, N. Crotti , M. Marzorati , A. Senerchia & A. M. Proverbio
Scientific Reports

Our study investigated the effects of hypoxia on visuospatial attention processing during preparation for a single/double-choice motor response. ERPs were recorded in two sessions in which participants breathed either ambient-air or oxygen-impoverished air. During each session, participants performed four cue-target attention orienting and/or alerting tasks. Replicating the classic findings of valid visuospatial attentional orienting modulation, ERPs to pre-target cues elicited both an Anterior directing attention negativity (ADAN)/CNV and a posterior Late directing attention positivity (LDAP)/TP, which in ambient air were larger for attention orienting than for alerting. Hypoxia increased the amplitude of both these potentials in the spatial orienting conditions for the upper visual hemifield, while, for the lower hemifield, it increased ADAN/CNV, but decreased LDAP/TP for the same attention conditions. To these ERP changes corresponded compensatory enhanced activation of right anterior cingulate cortex, left superior parietal lobule and frontal gyrus, as well as detrimental effects of hypoxia on behavioral overt performance. Together, these findings reveal for the first time, to our knowledge, that (1) these reversed alterations of the activation patterns during the time between cue and target occur at a larger extent in hypoxia than in air, and (2) acute normobaric hypoxia alters visuospatial attention orienting shifting in space.

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