[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: How attentional modulation on brain activities determines behavioral performance has been one of the most important issues in cognitive neuroscience. This issue has been addressed by comparing the temporal relationship between attentional modulations on neural activities and behavior. Our previous study measured the time course of attention with amplitude and phase coherence of steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) and found that the modulation latency of phase coherence rather than that of amplitude was consistent with the latency of behavioral performance. In this study, as a complementary report, we compared the time course of visual attention shift measured by event-related potentials (ERPs) with that by target detection task. We developed a novel technique to compare ERPs with behavioral results and analyzed the EEG data in our previous study. Two sets of flickering stimulus at different frequencies were presented in the left and right visual hemifields, and a target or distracter pattern was presented randomly at various moments after an attention-cue presentation. The observers were asked to detect targets on the attended stimulus after the cue. We found that two ERP components, P300 and N2pc, were elicited by the target presented at the attended location. Time-course analyses revealed that attentional modulation of the P300 and N2pc amplitudes increased gradually until reaching a maximum and lasted at least 1.5 s after the cue onset, which is similar to the temporal dynamics of behavioral performance. However, attentional modulation of these ERP components started later than that of behavioral performance. Rather, the time course of attentional modulation of behavioral performance was more closely associated with that of the concurrently recorded SSVEPs analyzed. These results suggest that neural activities reflected not by either the P300 or N2pc, but by the SSVEPs, are the source of attentional modulation of behavioral performance.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(8):e70922. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Endogenous attention modulates the amplitude and phase coherence of steady-state visual-evoked potentials (SSVEPs). In efforts to decipher the neural mechanisms of attentional modulation, we compared the time course of attentional modulation of SSVEP amplitude (thought to reflect the magnitude of neural population activity) and phase coherence (thought to reflect neural response synchronization). We presented two stimuli flickering at different frequencies in the left and right visual hemifields and asked observers to shift their attention to either stimulus. Our results demonstrated that attention increased SSVEP phase coherence earlier than it increased SSVEP amplitude, with a positive correlation between the attentional modulations of SSVEP phase coherence and amplitude. Furthermore, the behavioral dynamics of attention shifts were more closely associated with changes in phase coherence than with changes in amplitude. These results are consistent with the possibility that attention increases neural response synchronization, which in turn leads to increased neural population activity.
Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 02/2012; 24(8):1779-93. · 4.49 Impact Factor