Distinct roles of theta and alpha oscillations in the involuntary capture of goal-directed attention

Harris, Anthony M., Dux, Paul E., Jones, Caelyn N. and Mattingley, Jason B. (2017) Distinct roles of theta and alpha oscillations in the involuntary capture of goal-directed attention. NeuroImage, 152 171-183. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2017.03.008

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Author Harris, Anthony M.
Dux, Paul E.
Jones, Caelyn N.
Mattingley, Jason B.
Title Distinct roles of theta and alpha oscillations in the involuntary capture of goal-directed attention
Journal name NeuroImage   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1095-9572
Publication date 2017-05-15
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2017.03.008
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 152
Start page 171
End page 183
Total pages 13
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier BV
Language eng
Subject 2808 Neurology
2805 Cognitive Neuroscience
Abstract Mechanisms of attention assign priority to sensory inputs on the basis of current task goals. Previous studies have shown that lateralized neural oscillations within the alpha (8–14 Hz) range are associated with the voluntary allocation of attention to the contralateral visual field. It is currently unknown, however, whether similar oscillatory signatures instantiate the involuntary capture of spatial attention by goal-relevant stimulus properties. Here we investigated the roles of theta (4–8 Hz), alpha, and beta (14–30 Hz) oscillations in human goal-directed visual attention. Across two experiments, we had participants respond to a brief target of a particular color among heterogeneously colored distractors. Prior to target onset, we cued one location with a lateralized, non-predictive cue that was either target- or non-target-colored. During the behavioral task, we recorded brain activity using electroencephalography (EEG), with the aim of analyzing cue-elicited oscillatory activity. We found that theta oscillations lateralized in response to all cues, and this lateralization was stronger if the cue matched the target color. Alpha oscillations lateralized relatively later, and only in response to target-colored cues, consistent with the capture of spatial attention. Our findings suggest that stimulus induced changes in theta and alpha amplitude reflect task-based modulation of signals by feature-based and spatial attention, respectively.
Keyword Alpha
Attentional capture
Goal-directed attention
Neural oscillations
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
Queensland Brain Institute Publications
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 3 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 3 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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