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Interactions between attention and perceptual grouping in human visual cortex

Khoe, W; Freeman, E; Woldorff, MG; Mangun, GR; (2006) Interactions between attention and perceptual grouping in human visual cortex. BRAIN RES , 1078 101 - 111. 10.1016/j.brainres.2005.12.083.

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Abstract

Freeman et al. (Freeman, E., Sagi, D., Driver, J., 2001. Lateral interactions between targets and flankers in low-level vision depend on attention to the flankers. Nat. Neurosci. 4, 1032-1036) demonstrated that detection sensitivity for a low contrast Gabor stimulus improved in the presence of flanking, collinearly oriented grating stimuli, but only when observers attended to them. By recording visual event-related potentials (ERPs) elicited by a Gabor stimulus, we investigated whether this contextual cueing effect involves changes in the short-latency afferent visual signal from V1 that have a stimulus onset latency between 60 and 80 ms and/or longer-latency changes from visual cortex Under dual-task conditions, the subjects performed contrast discrimination for a central Gabor and an orientation judgment for a pre-specified subset of the flanking Gabors. On random trials, the central Gabor could be collinearly or orthogonally oriented with respect to the attended flankers. Subjects showed improvements in discriminating the contrast of the central grating when it was oriented collinearly with the attended flankers The ERP difference between attending to collinear versus orthogonal flankers manifested as a positive polarity response at occipital electrodes with a latency of 180250 ms after stimulus onset. No shorter-latency contextual cueing differences were observed in the ERPs. The ERP latency profile of the contextual cueing effect argues against the hypothesis that short-latency afferent activity from V1 is the stage of processing at which attention can influence neuronal lateral interactions. However, the scalp voltage distribution of the longer-latency contextual cueing effect is similar to the one generated by the early phasic stimulus onset activity from V1. These findings leave open the possibility that V1 is involved in the attentional modulation of lateral interactions but that this has a longer time course, likely being mediated by re-afferent inputs from later stages of the visual pathway. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Type:Article
Title:Interactions between attention and perceptual grouping in human visual cortex
DOI:10.1016/j.brainres.2005.12.083
Keywords:attention, ERPs, lateral interaction, striate cortex, extrastnate cortex, CAT STRIATE CORTEX, OBJECT-BASED ATTENTION, LATERAL INTERACTIONS, SPATIAL ATTENTION, CORTICAL AREAS, ALERT MONKEYS, FACILITATION, RESPONSES, STIMULI, NEURONS
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences

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