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Exp Brain Res. 2013 Jun;227(2):199-209. doi: 10.1007/s00221-013-3500-x. Epub 2013 Apr 11.

Neural mechanisms of shifts of spatial attention induced by object words with spatial associations: an ERP study.

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School of Psychology and Cognitive Science, East China Normal University, No. 3663 North Zhongshan Road, Putuo District, Shanghai 200062, China.


The present study used event-related potentials (ERPs) to explore the nature of shifts of spatial attention induced by object words with spatial associations. Specifically, we presented participants with cue words that denote objects that typically appear in high or low places (e.g., "moon," "mouse") at the center of the screen. After the presentation of the cue words, participants were asked to identify a target letter ("p" or "q") at the top or bottom of the screen. Although the cues did not predict target locations (50 % valid) and were irrelevant to the task, the ERP analysis showed larger N1 amplitudes for congruent trials (i.e., the target letter's location was congruent with the typical location of the word's referent) and larger P3 amplitudes for incongruent trials. The present study extended previous studies by showing that the perception of object words could affect the processing of subsequent spatial stimuli at multiple stages (i.e., sensory processing and higher-level cognitive processing).

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