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Vision Res. 2011 Aug 15;51(16):1820-8. doi: 10.1016/j.visres.2011.06.012. Epub 2011 Jun 23.

Magnocellular and parvocellular influences on reflexive attention.

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  • 1US Army Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, United States.


Previous studies have provided conflicting evidence regarding whether the magnocellular (M) or parvocellular (P) visual pathway is primarily responsible for triggering involuntary orienting. Here, we used event-related potentials (ERPs) to provide new evidence that both the M and P pathways can trigger attentional capture and bias visual processing at multiple levels. Specifically, cued-location targets elicited enhanced activity, relative to uncued-location targets, at both early sensory processing levels (indexed by the P1 component) and later higher-order processing stages (as indexed by the P300 component). Furthermore, the present results show these effects of attentional capture were not contingent on the feature congruency between the cue and expected target, providing evidence that this biasing of visual processing was not dependant on top-down expectations or within-pathway priming.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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