Attention Modulates Earliest Responses in the Primary Auditory and Visual Cortices


A fundamental question about the neural correlates of attention concerns the earliest sensory processing stage that it can affect. We addressed this issue by recording magnetoencephalography (MEG) signals while subjects performed detection tasks, which required employment of spatial or nonspatial attention, in auditory or visual modality. Using distributed source analysis of MEG signals, we found that, contrary to previous studies that used equivalent current dipole (ECD) analysis, spatial attention enhanced the initial feedforward response in the primary visual cortex (V1) at 55-90 ms. We also found attentional modulation of the putative primary auditory cortex (A1) activity at 30-50 ms. Furthermore, we reproduced our findings using ECD modeling guided by the results of distributed source analysis and suggest a reason why earlier studies using ECD analysis failed to identify the modulation of earliest V1 activity.

DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2008.04.013

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@article{Poghosyan2008AttentionME, title={Attention Modulates Earliest Responses in the Primary Auditory and Visual Cortices}, author={Vahe Poghosyan and Andreas A. Ioannides}, journal={Neuron}, year={2008}, volume={58}, pages={802-813} }