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Attention induced neural response trade-off in retinotopic cortex under load

Torralbo, A; Kelley, TA; Rees, G; Lavie, N; (2016) Attention induced neural response trade-off in retinotopic cortex under load. Scientific Reports , 6 , Article 33041. 10.1038/srep33041. Green open access

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Abstract

The effects of perceptual load on visual cortex response to distractors are well established and various phenomena of ‘inattentional blindness’ associated with elimination of visual cortex response to unattended distractors, have been documented in tasks of high load. Here we tested an account for these effects in terms of a load-induced trade-off between target and distractor processing in retinotopic visual cortex. Participants were scanned using fMRI while performing a visual-search task and ignoring distractor checkerboards in the periphery. Retinotopic responses to target and distractors were assessed as a function of search load (comparing search set-sizes two, three and five). We found that increased load not only increased activity in frontoparietal network, but also had opposite effects on retinotopic responses to target and distractors. Target-related signals in areas V2–V3 linearly increased, while distractor response linearly decreased, with increased load. Critically, the slopes were equivalent for both load functions, thus demonstrating resource trade-off. Load effects were also found in displays with the same item number in the distractor hemisphere across different set sizes, thus ruling out local intrahemispheric interactions as the cause. Our findings provide new evidence for load theory proposals of attention resource sharing between target and distractor leading to inattentional blindness.

Type: Article
Title: Attention induced neural response trade-off in retinotopic cortex under load
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/srep33041
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep33041
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Science & Technology, Multidisciplinary Sciences, Science & Technology - Other Topics, PRIMARY VISUAL-CORTEX, PERCEPTUAL-LOAD, SELECTIVE ATTENTION, INATTENTIONAL BLINDNESS, MODULATES RESPONSES, FMRI, AREAS, TASK, DISTRACTORS, TRACKING
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
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Health Informatics
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Health Informatics > Clinical Epidemiology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1520032
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