A shift of visual spatial attention is selectively associated with human EEG alpha activity

P. Sauseng, W. Klimesch, W. Stadler, M. Schabus, M. Doppelmayr, S. Hanslmayr, W. R. Gruber, N. Birbaumer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Event-related potentials and ongoing oscillatory electroencephalogram (EEG) activity were measured while subjects performed a cued visual spatial attention task. They were instructed to shift their attention to either the left or right visual hemifield according to a cue, which could be valid or invalid. Thereafter, a peripheral target had to be evaluated. At posterior parietal brain areas early components of the event-related potential (P1 and N1) were higher when the cue had been valid compared with invalid. An anticipatory attention effect was found in EEG alpha magnitude at parieto-occipital electrode sites. Starting 200 ms before target onset alpha amplitudes were significantly stronger suppressed at sites contralateral to the attended visual hemifield than ipsilateral to it. In addition, phase coupling between prefrontal and posterior parietal electrode sites was calculated. It was found that prefrontal cortex shows stronger phase coupling with posterior sites that are contralateral to the attended hemifield than ipsilateral sites. The results suggest that a shift of attention selectively modulates excitability of the contralateral posterior parietal cortex and that this posterior modulation of alpha activity is controlled by prefrontal regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2917-2926
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
Volume22
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005

Keywords

  • Directed attention
  • Event-related potentials
  • Oscillations
  • Phase coherence
  • Posterior parietal cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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