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Causal implication by rhythmic transcranial magnetic stimulation of alpha frequency in feature-based local vs. global attention

Romei, Vincenzo and Thut, Gregor and Mok, Robert M and Schyns, Philippe G and Driver, Jon (2012) 'Causal implication by rhythmic transcranial magnetic stimulation of alpha frequency in feature-based local vs. global attention.' European Journal of Neuroscience, 35 (6). pp. 968-974. ISSN 0953-816X

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Although oscillatory activity in the alpha band was traditionally associated with lack of alertness, more recent work has linked it to specific cognitive functions, including visual attention. The emerging method of rhythmic transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) allows causal interventional tests for the online impact on performance of TMS administered in short bursts at a particular frequency. TMS bursts at 10Hz have recently been shown to have an impact on spatial visual attention, but any role in featural attention remains unclear. Here we used rhythmic TMS at 10Hz to assess the impact on attending to global or local components of a hierarchical Navon-like stimulus (D. Navon (1977) Forest before trees: The precedence of global features in visual perception. Cognit. Psychol., 9, 353), in a paradigm recently used with TMS at other frequencies (V. Romei, J. Driver, P.G. Schyns & G. Thut. (2011) Rhythmic TMS over parietal cortex links distinct brain frequencies to global versus local visual processing. Curr. Biol., 2, 334-337). In separate groups, left or right posterior parietal sites were stimulated at 10Hz just before presentation of the hierarchical stimulus. Participants had to identify either the local or global component in separate blocks. Right parietal 10 Hz stimulation (vs. sham) significantly impaired global processing without affecting local processing, while left parietal 10 Hz stimulation vs. sham impaired local processing with a minor trend to enhance global processing. These 10 Hz outcomes differed significantly from stimulation at other frequencies (i.e. 5 or 20Hz) over the same site in other recent work with the same paradigm. These dissociations confirm differential roles of the two hemispheres in local vs. global processing, and reveal a frequency-specific role for stimulation in the alpha band for regulating feature-based visual attention. © 2012 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience © 2012 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: alpha; brain oscillations; entrainment; featural attention; rhythmic TMS
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 03 May 2013 20:28
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2022 11:32

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