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Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol. 1993 Jan-Feb;88(1):51-63.

Event-related potentials to conjunctions of spatial frequency and orientation as a function of stimulus parameters and response requirements.

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Department of Psychonomics, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


ERPs were recorded from subjects who were required to push a button in response to a given conjunction of spatial frequency and orientation (target), and to ignore conjunctions sharing with the target only frequency (frequency-relevant), only orientation (orientation-relevant), or neither (irrelevant). Differences between ERPs to irrelevant and frequency-relevant stimuli were identified as frontal selection positivity (Fz, 150-200 msec post-stimulus), selection negativity (Oz, just after 200 msec), and vertex N2b (200-250 msec). For relevant orientations, the selection negativity and the N2b were also found, but the frontal selection positivity was elicited only when the spatial frequency was relevant as well. Neither of these 3 waves was sensitive to spatial frequency or orientation per se. Other waves (N80, N180) did show such sensitivity, but this was independent of stimulus relevance. Hence, direct evidence for the neural-specificity theory, stating that task-related selective ERP responses reflect differential enhancement of activity in stimulus-specific pathways, was not obtained. It is further concluded that ERPs associated with selection of frequency and orientation are highly comparable to those associated with other visual dimensions (e.g., color), and that selection of multiple visual dimensions may be hierarchical at one level of processing and independent at another.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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