Distinct neural markers of TVA-based visual processing speed and short-term storage capacity parameters
until further notice
Number of pages
SourceCerebral Cortex, 24, 8, (2014), pp. 1967-1978
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC NRP
SubjectNeuropsychology and rehabilitation psychology; Neuro- en revalidatiepsychologie
An individual's visual attentional capacity is characterized by 2 central processing resources, visual perceptual processing speed and visual short-term memory (vSTM) storage capacity. Based on Bundesen's theory of visual attention (TVA), independent estimates of these parameters can be obtained from mathematical modeling of performance in a whole report task. The framework's neural interpretation (NTVA) further suggests distinct brain mechanisms underlying these 2 functions. Using an interindividual difference approach, the present study was designed to establish the respective ERP correlates of both parameters. Participants with higher compared to participants with lower processing speed were found to show significantly reduced visual N1 responses, indicative of higher efficiency in early visual processing. By contrast, for participants with higher relative to lower vSTM storage capacity, contralateral delay activity over visual areas was enhanced while overall nonlateralized delay activity was reduced, indicating that holding (the maximum number of) items in vSTM relies on topographically specific sustained activation within the visual system. Taken together, our findings show that the 2 main aspects of visual attentional capacity are reflected in separable neurophysiological markers, validating a central assumption of NTVA.
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