Human cortical-evoked fields during detection, localisation, and identification of 'pop-out' targets.


We investigated human cortical activity during four 'effortless-pop-out' visual search tasks with the use of magnetoencephalography. The search display, which was identical across all the tasks, consisted of vertical line segments, one of which was rotated abruptly 45 degrees clockwise or counterclockwise. In the passive-viewing task the observers gave no response to the search display. In the target-detection task they responded to the onset of the target motion irrespective of its location and direction. In the target-localisation task the observers reported whether the line rotation appeared above or below the fixation point while ignoring the direction of the rotation. In contrast, in the target-identification task they indicated the direction of the line rotation, and the location of the rotation in the array was irrelevant. Cortical activity was recorded with a whole-scalp magnetometer while the observers were performing each task. In addition to the expected activation of the occipital and somatomotor cortical regions, two other active cortical areas were consistently identified in both hemispheres: one in the occipito-temporal area, probably corresponding to the motion-specific V5 complex, and another in the parieto-temporal region. The activation of the right occipito-temporal source depended on the task. The maximum amplitude was smallest for the passive viewing, increased for the detection task, and was largest for the localisation and identification.

Cite this paper

@article{Saarinen1998HumanCF, title={Human cortical-evoked fields during detection, localisation, and identification of 'pop-out' targets.}, author={Jari Saarinen and Simo Vanni and Riitta Hari}, journal={Perception}, year={1998}, volume={27 2}, pages={215-24} }