Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Curr Biol. 2016 Jun 20;26(12):1595-1601. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2016.04.046. Epub 2016 Jun 2.

Attention Reorients Periodically.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, New York University, New York, NY 10003, USA; Center for Neural Science, New York University, New York, NY 10003, USA. Electronic address: laura.dugue@nyu.edu.
2
Department of Psychology, New York University, New York, NY 10003, USA.
3
Department of Psychology, New York University, New York, NY 10003, USA; Center for Neural Science, New York University, New York, NY 10003, USA.

Abstract

Reorienting of voluntary attention enables the processing of stimuli at previously unattended locations. Although studies have identified a ventral fronto-parietal network underlying attention [1, 2], little is known about whether and how early visual areas are involved in involuntary [3, 4] and even less in voluntary [5] reorienting, and their temporal dynamics are unknown. We used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) over the occipital cortex to interfere with attentional reorienting and study its role and temporal dynamics in this process. Human observers performed an orientation discrimination task, with either valid or invalid attention cueing, across a range of stimulus contrasts. Valid cueing induced a behavioral response gain increase, higher asymptotic performance for attended than unattended locations. During subsequent TMS sessions, observers performed the same task, with high stimulus contrast. Based on phosphene mapping, TMS double pulses were applied at one of various delays to a consistent brain location in retinotopic areas (V1/V2), corresponding to the evoked signal of the target or distractor, in a valid or invalid trial. Thus, the stimulation was identical for the four experimental conditions (valid/invalid cue condition × target/distractor-stimulated). TMS modulation of the target and distractor were both periodic (5 Hz, theta) and out of phase with respect to each other in invalid trials only, when attention had to be disengaged from the distractor and reoriented to the target location. Reorientation of voluntary attention periodically involves V1/V2 at the theta frequency. These results suggest that TMS probes theta phase-reset by attentional reorienting and help link periodic sampling in time and attention reorienting in space.

PMID:
27265395
PMCID:
PMC4935543
DOI:
10.1016/j.cub.2016.04.046
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center