Functional Network Reconfiguration Supporting Memory-Guided Attention

Kylie Isenburg, Boston University
Thomas M. Morin, Boston University
Maya L. Rosen, Smith College
David C. Somers, Boston University
Chantal E. Stern, Boston University

Archived as published.


Studies have identified several brain regions whose activations facilitate attentional deployment via long-term memories. We analyzed task-based functional connectivity at the network and node-specific level to characterize large-scale communication between brain regions underlying long-term memory guided attention. We predicted default mode, cognitive control, and dorsal attention subnetworks would contribute differentially to long-term memory guided attention, such that network-level connectivity would shift based on attentional demands, requiring contribution of memory-specific nodes within default mode and cognitive control subnetworks. We expected that these nodes would increase connectivity with one another and with dorsal attention subnetworks during long-term memory guided attention. Additionally, we hypothesized connectivity between cognitive control and dorsal attention subnetworks facilitating external attentional demands. Our results identified both network-based and node-specific interactions that facilitate different components of LTM-guided attention, suggesting a crucial role across the posterior precuneus and restrosplenial cortex, acting independently from the divisions of default mode and cognitive control subnetworks. We found a gradient of precuneus connectivity, with dorsal precuneus connecting to cognitive control and dorsal attention regions, and ventral precuneus connecting across all subnetworks. Additionally, retrosplenial cortex showed increased connectivity across subnetworks. We suggest that connectivity from dorsal posterior midline regions is critical for the integration of external information with internal memory that facilitates long-term memory guided attention.