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  The dark side of the alpha rhythm: fMRI evidence for alpha-related attention allocation during complete darkness

Ben-Simon, E., Podlipsky, I., Okon-Singer, H., Gruberger, M., Cvetkovic, D., Intrator, N., et al. (2013). The dark side of the alpha rhythm: fMRI evidence for alpha-related attention allocation during complete darkness. European Journal of Neuroscience, 37(5), 795-803. doi:10.1111/ejn.12083.

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Ben-Simon, Eti1, 2, Author
Podlipsky, Ilana2, Author
Okon-Singer, Hadas2, Author           
Gruberger, Michal2, 3, Author
Cvetkovic, Dean4, Author
Intrator, Nathan3, Author
Hendler, Talma1, 2, 5, Author
1Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Israel, ou_persistent22              
2Functional Brain Center, Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Israel, ou_persistent22              
3Department of Computer Science, Tel-Aviv University, Israel, ou_persistent22              
4School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia, ou_persistent22              
5School of Psychological Sciences, Sagol School of Neuroscience, Tel-Aviv University, Israel, ou_persistent22              


Free keywords: EEG classification; Inhibition hypothesis; Intrinsic alertness; Simultaneous EEG–fMRI; The idle rhythm
 Abstract: The unique role of the EEG alpha rhythm in different states of cortical activity is still debated. The main theories regarding alpha function posit either sensory processing or attention allocation as the main processes governing its modulation. Closing and opening eyes, a well-known manipulation of the alpha rhythm, could be regarded as attention allocation from inward to outward focus though during light is also accompanied by visual change. To disentangle the effects of attention allocation and sensory visual input on alpha modulation, 14 healthy subjects were asked to open and close their eyes during conditions of light and of complete darkness while simultaneous recordings of EEG and fMRI were acquired. Thus, during complete darkness the eyes-open condition is not related to visual input but only to attention allocation, allowing direct examination of its role in alpha modulation. A data-driven ridge regression classifier was applied to the EEG data in order to ascertain the contribution of the alpha rhythm to eyes-open/eyes-closed inference in both lighting conditions. Classifier results revealed significant alpha contribution during both light and dark conditions, suggesting that alpha rhythm modulation is closely linked to the change in the direction of attention regardless of the presence of visual sensory input. Furthermore, fMRI activation maps derived from an alpha modulation time-course during the complete darkness condition exhibited a right frontal cortical network associated with attention allocation. These findings support the importance of top-down processes such as attention allocation to alpha rhythm modulation, possibly as a prerequisite to its known bottom-up processing of sensory input.


Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2012-10-242012-04-282012-11-052012-12-062013-03
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1111/ejn.12083
PMID: 23216771
Other: Epub 2012
 Degree: -



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Title: European Journal of Neuroscience
  Other : Eur. J. Neurosci
Source Genre: Journal
Publ. Info: -
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 37 (5) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 795 - 803 Identifier: ISSN: 0953-816X
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925575988