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Attentional selection of location and modality in vision and touch modulates low-frequency activity in associated sensory cortices

Bauer, M and Kennett, S and Driver, J (2012) 'Attentional selection of location and modality in vision and touch modulates low-frequency activity in associated sensory cortices.' Journal of Neurophysiology, 107 (9). 2342 - 2351. ISSN 0022-3077

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Selective attention allows us to focus on particular sensory modalities and locations. Relatively little is known about how attention to a sensory modality may relate to selection of other features, such as spatial location, in terms of brain oscillations, although it has been proposed that low-frequency modulation (α- and β-bands) may be key. Here, we investigated how attention to space (left or right) and attention to modality (vision or touch) affect ongoing low-frequency oscillatory brain activity over human sensory cortex. Magnetoencephalography was recorded while participants performed a visual or tactile task. In different blocks, touch or vision was task-relevant, whereas spatial attention was cued to the left or right on each trial. Attending to one or other modality suppressed α-oscillations over the corresponding sensory cortex. Spatial attention led to reduced α-oscillations over both sensorimotor and occipital cortex contralateral to the attended location in the cue-target interval, when either modality was task-relevant. Even modality-selective sensors also showed spatial- attention effects for both modalities. The visual and sensorimotor results were generally highly convergent, yet, although attention effects in occipital cortex were dominant in the α-band, in sensori-motor cortex, these were also clearly present in the β-band. These results extend previous findings that spatial attention can operate in a multimodal fashion and indicate that attention to space and modality both rely on similar mechanisms that modulate low-frequency oscillations. © 2012 the American Physiological Society.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2013 10:18
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2019 11:16

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