December 2001
Volume 1, Issue 3
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   December 2001
Cortical dynamics of attention during visual search: An event-related potential study
Author Affiliations
  • J. Palix
    Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital of Geneva, GE, Switzerland
  • I. Viaud-Delmon
    Department of Neurology, University Hospital of Geneva, GE, Switzerland
  • C. Michel
    Department of Neurology, University Hospital of Geneva, GE, Switzerland
  • U. Leonards
    Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital of Geneva, GE, Switzerland
Journal of Vision December 2001, Vol.1, 112. doi:10.1167/1.3.112
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      J. Palix, I. Viaud-Delmon, C. Michel, U. Leonards; Cortical dynamics of attention during visual search: An event-related potential study. Journal of Vision 2001;1(3):112. doi: 10.1167/1.3.112.

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Abstract
 

Purpose: To investigate the temporal dynamics of attention in visual search, we compared electrocortical activation patterns for feature and conjunction search with low and high attentional demands, respectively. Methods: Continuous EEG (125 channels) of sixteen volunteers was recorded, while subjects performed feature search (line orientation) and conjunction search (line orientation & contrast polarity). Event-related potentials were compared for the two search types, using a time-segmentation procedure based on map topography, and a waveform analysis. Results: For both search types, segmentation analysis revealed 9 successive topographic maps (between 200 ms prior and 600 ms after stimulus onset). Maps 3 to 5, 120 to 300 ms after stimulus onset, showed significant topographic differences between feature and conjunction search. Waveform analysis indicated that the N2pc component, previously suggested as electrophysiological indicator for spatial attention shifts distinguishing between feature and conjunctions search, was restricted to the time window of map 5 (250–300 ms). Conclusions: Our results revealed that cortical temporal dynamics differ between little attention demanding feature and attentive conjunction search 100 ms earlier to those commonly attributed to spatial shifts of attention. This suggests that spatial attention shifts as indicated by the N2pc component are not sufficient to explain attention mechanisms in visual search.

 
Palix, J., Viaud-Delmon, I., Michel, C., Leonards, U.(2001). Cortical dynamics of attention during visual search: An event-related potential study [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 1( 3): 112, 112a, http://journalofvision.org/1/3/112/, doi:10.1167/1.3.112. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Footnotes
 Supported by SNSF-grant 3100-059321.99).
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