Attention is the behavioral and cognitive process of selectively concentrating on a discrete aspect of information, whether subjective or objective, while ignoring other preceivable information. Attention has also been referred to as the allocation of limited processing resources.
Early and moderate Parkinson's disease patients seem to have attention dysfunctions manifested differentially in separate attention streams: top-down and bottom-up. With a focus on the neurophysiological underpinnings of such differences, the study of Bin Yoo et al., evaluated source-localized regional activity and functional connectivity of regions in the top-down and bottom-up streams as well as any discordance between the two streams. Resting state electroencephalography was used for 36 Parkinson's disease patients and 36 healthy controls matched for age and gender. Parkinson's disease patients showed disproportionally higher bilateral gamma activity in the bottom-up stream and higher left alpha2 connectivity in the top-down stream when compared to age-matched controls. An additional cross-frequency coupling analysis showed that Parkinson's patients have higher alpha2-gamma coupling in the right posterior parietal cortex, which is part of the top-down stream. Higher coupling in this region was also associated with lower severity of motor symptoms in Parkinson's disease. This study provides evidence that in Parkinson's disease, the activity in gamma frequency band and connectivity in alpha2 frequency band is discordant between top-down and bottom-up attention streams 1).