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Perceptual load affects spatial tuning of neuronal populations in human early visual cortex.

de Haas, B; Schwarzkopf, DS; Anderson, EJ; Rees, G; (2014) Perceptual load affects spatial tuning of neuronal populations in human early visual cortex. Curr Biol , 24 (2) R66 - R67. 10.1016/j.cub.2013.11.061. Green open access

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Abstract

Withdrawal of attention from a visual scene as a result of perceptual load modulates overall levels of activity in human visual cortex [1], but its effects on cortical spatial tuning properties are unknown. Here we show attentional load at fixation affects the spatial tuning of population receptive fields (pRFs) in early visual cortex (V1-3) using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We found that, compared to low perceptual load, high perceptual load yielded a 'blurrier' representation of the visual field surrounding the attended location and a centrifugal 'repulsion' of pRFs. Additional data and control analyses confirmed that these effects were neither due to changes in overall activity levels nor to eye movements. These findings suggest neural 'tunnel vision' as a form of distractor suppression under high perceptual load.

Type: Article
Title: Perceptual load affects spatial tuning of neuronal populations in human early visual cortex.
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.11.061
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2013.11.061
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1423194
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