Putting spatial attention on the map: Timing and localization of stimulus selection processes in striate and extrastriate visual areas

Antígona Martínez, Francesco DiRusso, Lourdes Anllo-Vento, Martin I. Sereno, Richard B. Buxton, Steven A. Hillyard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study investigated the cortical mechanisms of visual-spatial attention in a task where subjects discriminated patterned targets in one visual field at a time. Functional magnetic imaging (fMRI) was used to localize attention-related changes in neural activity within specific retinotopic visual areas, while recordings of event-related brain potentials (ERPs) traced the time course of these changes. The earliest ERP components enhanced by attention occurred in the time range 70-130 ms post-stimulus onset, and their neural generators were estimated to lie in the dorsal and ventral extrastriate visual cortex. The anatomical areas activated by attention corresponded closely to those showing increased neural activity during passive visual stimulation. Enhanced neural activity was also observed in the primary visual cortex (area V1) with fMRI, but ERP recordings indicated that the initial sensory response at 50-90 ms that was localized to V1 was not modulated by attention. Modeling of ERP sources over an extended time range showed that attended stimuli elicited a long-latency (160-260 ms) negativity that was attributed to the dipolar source in area V1. This finding is in line with hypotheses that V1 activity may be modulated by delayed, reentrant feedback from higher visual areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1437-1457
Number of pages21
JournalVision Research
Volume41
Issue number10-11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Keywords

  • Electrophysiology
  • ERPs
  • fMRI
  • Retinotopic maps
  • Visual attention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems

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