Behavioral and brain measures of phasic alerting effects on visual attention
Number of pages
SourceFrontiers in Human Neuroscience, 11, (2017), article 176
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC NRP
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
SubjectNeuropsychology and rehabilitation psychology; Neuro- en revalidatiepsychologie
In the present study, we investigated effects of phasic alerting on visual attention in a partial report task, in which half of the displays were preceded by an auditory warning cue. Based on the computational Theory of Visual Attention (TVA), we estimated parameters of spatial and non-spatial aspects of visual attention and measured event-related lateralizations (ERLs) over visual processing areas. We found that the TVA parameter sensory effectiveness a, which is thought to reflect visual processing capacity, significantly increased with phasic alerting. By contrast, the distribution of visual processing resources according to task relevance and spatial position, as quantified in parameters top-down control alpha and spatial bias w(index), was not modulated by phasic alerting. On the electrophysiological level, the latencies of ERLs in response to the task displays were reduced following the warning cue. These results suggest that phasic alerting facilitates visual processing in a general, unselective manner and that this effect originates in early stages of visual information processing.
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