Neurophysiological signatures reflect differences in visual attention during absence seizures

Valentina Barone*, Maria Carla Piastra, Johannes P. van Dijk, Gerhard H. Visser, Mariette H.J.A. Debeij-van Hall, Michel J.A.M. van Putten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: Absences affect visual attention and eye movements variably. Here, we explore whether the dissimilarity of these symptoms during absences is reflected in differences in electroencephalographic (EEG) features, functional connectivity, and activation of the frontal eye field. Methods: Pediatric patients with absences performed a computerized choice reaction time task, with simultaneous recording of EEG and eye-tracking. We quantified visual attention and eye movements with reaction times, response correctness, and EEG features. Finally, we studied brain networks involved in the generation and propagation of seizures. Results: Ten pediatric patients had absences during the measurement. Five patients had preserved eye movements (preserved group) and five patients showed disrupted eye movements (unpreserved group) during seizures. Source reconstruction showed a stronger involvement of the right frontal eye field during absences in the unpreserved group than in the preserved group (dipole fraction 1.02% and 0.34%, respectively, p < 0.05). Graph analysis revealed different connection fractions of specific channels. Conclusions: The impairment of visual attention varies among patients with absences and is associated with differences in EEG features, network activation, and involvement of the right frontal eye field. Significance: Assessing the visual attention of patients with absences can be usefully employed in clinical practice for tailored advice to the individual patient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-42
Number of pages9
JournalClinical neurophysiology
Early online date26 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • Absence epilepsy
  • Absence seizures
  • EEG
  • Eye tracking
  • Frontal eye field
  • Visual attention
  • UT-Hybrid-D


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