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Clin Neurophysiol. 2004 Jan;115(1):199-210.

The time course of the effects of central and peripheral cues on visual processing: an event-related potentials study.

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Departamento de Psicoloxía Clínica e Psicobioloxía, Facultade de Psicoloxía, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Campus Universitario Sur, E-15782, Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain.



The varying results of visual event-related potential (ERP) studies of central and peripheral cueing suggest that these types of cue may modulate stimuli processing with different time courses. The aim of this study was to investigate differences in the time course of facilitatory effects on the visual processing induced by peripheral and central cues.


ERPs were recorded for visual target stimuli that were preceded by informative-central, informative-peripheral or uninformative-peripheral cues with stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) of 100, 300, 500 or 700 ms.


Validly cued stimuli elicited an enhanced P1 component with peripheral cueing at 100 ms SOA. P1 amplitude in valid trials was reduced at 300, 500 and 700 ms SOAs with uninformative-peripheral cueing, but only at 500 ms SOA with informative-peripheral cueing. With informative-central cueing, there was no validity effect on P1.


These results suggest that the automatic attraction of attention by a peripheral cue results in improved sensory processing at the cued location. This facilitation is replaced by an inhibitory effect when SOA increases, although cue informativeness may modulate this effect. Central cueing does not affect sensory processing at the P1 level.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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