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Arni Kristjansson, Christian C. Ruff, Jon Driver; Readout from iconic memory involves similar neural processes as selective spatial attention. Journal of Vision 2007;7(9):809. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/7.9.809.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Iconic memory and spatial attention are often considered as distinct topics, but may have functional similarities. Here we provide fMRI evidence for common underlying neural effects. In a partial-report paradigm, participants counted how many circles in one hemifield of a bilateral array had gaps in them, while keeping fixation. The relevant hemifield for partial report was indicated by an auditory cue, which was presented either before the visual array (pre-cues, spatial attention) or shortly after (post-cues, iconic memory). Pre and post-cues led to similar activity modulations in lateral occipital cortex, contralateral to the cued side, indicating that readout from iconic memory involves similar neural activity in visual cortex as spatial attention. We also found common bilateral activation of a fronto-parietal network for post-cue and pre-cue trials. These results show that common neural mechanisms may underlie selective spatial attention and readout from iconic memory. Some differences for pre- and postcueing were also found, with post-cues leading to higher activity in right middle frontal gyrus.
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