PhD Graduate

PhD program:: XXXIII

Thesis title: Beyond the visuo-spatial attention: Behavioural and neural correlates of physiological and pathological conditions.

In the last four decades, visuo-spatial attention has been one of the most investigated cognitive domains in neuroscience. Here we further investigated visuo-spatial attention using an integrated approach based: on a combination of “classical” attention tasks that might shed new lights on this multifaceted function (Aim 1); and on the simultaneous evaluation of the impact of other cognitive processes (namely, emotion and memory) on the deployment of visuo-spatial attentional resources (Aim 2). Specifically, for Aim 1 we used a visual search task, a bilateral stimulus task, and landmark task to investigate the neural correlates of visuo-spatial attention both in neurologically-intact subjects and patients with hemispatial neglect syndrome. A large literature investigated the specific activations elicited by each of these tasks in neurologically-intact, healthy subjects. Here we found a common substrate, namely the intraparietal sulcus, that was consistently engaged during the performance of the three tasks. By contrast, much less is known regarding the neural correlates of these tasks in neglect patients. Hence, we observed specific brain activations mainly in the left hemisphere, suggesting the existence of a compensatory mechanism in this syndrome. For Aim 2, we designed an experimental paradigm to assess the neural correlates of the interplay between emotion and long-term memory in the guidance of attention during a visual search task. We found that (negative) emotion enhanced the effect of long-term memory in guiding visuo-spatial attention, thus improving target detection at the visual search task. This effect was supported by a circuit of regions involving dorsal and ventral fronto-parietal, insular and parahippocampal activations. Moreover, we observed that the activation of the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex was further mediated by heart rate variability (namely, an index of the efficiency of “brain-heart connections”) during the interplay between emotion and memory in guiding visuo-spatial attention.

Research products

11573/1489443 - 2021 - Evidence for interhemispheric imbalance in stroke patients as revealed by combining transcranial magnetic stimulation and electroencephalography
Casula, E. P.; Pellicciari, M. C.; Bonni, S.; Spano, B.; Ponzo, V.; Salsano, I.; Giulietti, G.; Martino Cinnera, A.; Maiella, M.; Borghi, I.; Rocchi, L.; Bozzali, M.; Sallustio, F.; Caltagirone, C.; Koch, G. - 01a Articolo in rivista
paper: HUMAN BRAIN MAPPING (John Wiley & Sons Incorporated:Customer Service, 111 River Street:Hoboken, NJ 07030:(800)225-5945, (201)748-6000, EMAIL:, INTERNET:, Fax: (212)748-6551) pp. 1343-1358 - issn: 1065-9471 - wos: WOS:000607272200001 (41) - scopus: 2-s2.0-85099344029 (44)

11573/1569979 - 2021 - Probing the spatial bias in hemispatial neglect using a landmark task and fMRI
Salsano, I; Santangelo, V; Matano, A; Vadala, R; Briani, C; Giulietti, G; De Luca, M; Caltagirone, C; Antonucci, G; Spano, B; Nardo, D - 04d Abstract in atti di convegno
paper: COGNITIVE PROCESSING (Lengerich : Pabst Science, 2000-2003 Springer Berlin / Heidelberg 2004-) pp. 58-59 - issn: 1612-4782 - wos: WOS:000693578400193 (0) - scopus: (0)
conference: 8th International Conference on Spatial Cognition (ICSC 2021) (online)
book: Cognitive Processing - ()

11573/1489426 - 2021 - The lateral intraparietal sulcus takes viewpoint changes into account during memory-guided attention in natural scenes
Salsano, Ilenia; Santangelo, Valerio; Macaluso, Emiliano - 01a Articolo in rivista
paper: BRAIN STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION (Springer) pp. 989-1006 - issn: 1863-2653 - wos: WOS:000614349300001 (3) - scopus: 2-s2.0-85100462604 (3)

11573/1564194 - 2021 - Left egocentric neglect in early subacute right-stroke patients is related to damage of the superior longitudinal fasciculus
Spanò, Barbara; Nardo, Davide; Giulietti, Giovanni; Matano, Alessandro; Salsano, Ilenia; Briani, Chiara; Vadalà, Rita; Marzi, Claudia; De Luca, Maria; Caltagirone, Carlo; Santangelo, Valerio - 01a Articolo in rivista
paper: BRAIN IMAGING AND BEHAVIOR (New York, NY : Springer) pp. - - issn: 1931-7557 - wos: WOS:000679610800001 (5) - scopus: 2-s2.0-85111611637 (5)

11573/1339853 - 2019 - Using task-based fMRI to understand attentional mechanisms in healthy controls
Salsano, Ilenia; Nardo, Davide; Santangelo, Valerio; Matano, Alessandro; Briani, Chiara; Vadala’, Rita; Giulietti, Giovanni; De Luca, Maria; Caltagirone, Carlo; Antonucci, Gabriella; Spano’., Barbara - 04d Abstract in atti di convegno
conference: Italian Society for Neuroscience (SINS) (Perugia)
book: Proceedings of Italian Society for Neuroscience (SINS) National Congress - ()

11573/1339847 - 2019 - Mapping visual extinction in neglect patients through functional neuroimaging
Spano’, B.; Salsano, I.; Matano, A.; Briani, C.; Vadala’, R.; Nardo, D.; De Luca, M.; Giulietti, G.; Caltagirone, C.; Antonucci, G.; Santangelo, V. - 04f Poster
conference: Italian Society for Neurology (SIN) (Bologna)
book: Proceedings of Italian Society for Neurology (SIN) Annual Meeting - ()

11573/1190701 - 2018 - Mapping spatial neglect symptoms in the brain: a preliminary report from a single case.
Salsano, Ilenia; Santangelo, Valerio; Matano, Alessandro; Vadala', Rita; Antonucci, Gabriella; Spano', Barbara - 04f Poster
conference: New Perspectives in Neuroscience: Research Results of Young Italian Neuroscientists (Naples)
book: Proceedings of the meeting "New Perspectives in Neuroscience: Research Results of Young Italian Neuroscientists" - ()

11573/1190801 - 2018 - Mapping spatial neglect symptoms in patients with stroke
Salsano, Ilenia; Valerio, Santangelo; Alessandro, Matano; Rita, Vadala’; Giovanni, Giulietti; Maria De Luca, ; Davide, Nardo; Carlo, Caltagirone; Antonucci, Gabriella; Barbara, Spano’ - 04f Poster
conference: ISMRM - Italian Chapter (Padua)
book: Proceedings of ISMRM - Italian Chapter - ()

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