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.