Attentional load asymmetrically affects early electrophysiological indices of visual orienting

O'Connell, Redmond, Schneider Dana, Hester, Robert, Mattingley, Jason B. and Bellgrove, Mark A. (2011) Attentional load asymmetrically affects early electrophysiological indices of visual orienting. Cerebral Cortex, 21 5: 1056-1065. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhq178

Author O'Connell, Redmond
Schneider Dana
Hester, Robert
Mattingley, Jason B.
Bellgrove, Mark A.
Title Attentional load asymmetrically affects early electrophysiological indices of visual orienting
Journal name Cerebral Cortex   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1047-3211
Publication date 2011-05-01
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/cercor/bhq178
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 21
Issue 5
Start page 1056
End page 1065
Total pages 10
Place of publication Oxford, U.K.
Publisher Oxford University Press
Language eng
Subject 2805 Cognitive Neuroscience
2804 Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
Abstract Recent behavioral studies suggest that asymmetries in visuospatial orienting are modulated by changes in the demand on nonspatial components of attention, but the brain correlates of this modulation are unknown. We used scalp-recorded event-related potentials to examine the influence of central attentional load on neural responses to lateralized visual targets. Forty-five participants were required to detect transient, unilateral visual targets while monitoring a stream of alphanumeric stimuli at fixation, in which the target was defined either by a unique feature (low load) or by a conjunction of features (high load). The earliest effect of load on spatial orienting was seen at the latency of the posterior N1 (190–240 ms). The commonly observed N1 enhancement with contralateral visual stimulation was attenuated over the right hemisphere under high load. Source analysis localized this effect to occipital and inferior parietal regions of the right hemisphere. In addition, we observed perceptual enhancement with increasing load within the focus of attention (fixation) at an earlier stage (P1, 90–140 ms) than has previously been reported. These data support the view that spatial asymmetries in visual orienting are modulated by nonspatial attention due to overlapping neural circuits within the right hemisphere. Copyright © 2011 Oxford University Press
Keyword Attentional load
Event-related potentials
Visual orienting
Visuospatial asymmetry
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID DP0770337
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes First published online: September 15, 2010

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
Queensland Brain Institute Publications
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 21 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 04 Mar 2011, 01:46:36 EST by Debra McMurtrie on behalf of School of Psychology