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Visual selection is determined in part by the saliency of stimuli. We assessed the brain mechanisms determining attentional responses to saliency. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) was applied to the left and right posterior parietal cortices (PPC) immediately before participants were asked to identify a compound letter. rTMS to the right PPC disrupted the guidance of attention toward salient stimuli, whereas rTMS to the left PPC affected the ability to bias selection away from salient stimuli. We conclude that right and left PPC have opposite roles in biasing selection to and from salient stimuli in the environment.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Neurosci

Publication Date





740 - 742


Attention, Functional Laterality, Humans, Nerve Net, Neural Pathways, Neuropsychological Tests, Observer Variation, Orientation, Parietal Lobe, Pattern Recognition, Visual, Photic Stimulation, Space Perception, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, Visual Perception