Document Detail

Can the spotlight of attention be shaped like a doughnut? Evidence from steady-state visual evoked potentials.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11933994     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Visual attention enables observers to extract and process high-priority information in the visualfield. Controversy remains as to whether or not observers can ignore information that falls within the spatial beam of attention. We used an objective physiological measure, the steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP), to investigate this question. A stream of flickering small, uppercase letters was embedded in the center of a stream of large, uppercase letters. A unitary beam would result in no difference of the SSVEP amplitude elicited by the small letter stream when it was attended versus ignored (i.e., when subjects attended the large letter stream). Contrary to this prediction, SSVEP amplitude increased by almost 100% when the small letter stream was attended compared with when it was ignored. The results support the notion that the attentional spotlight can be formed like a doughnut, processing central information differentially depending on whether it is attended or ignored.
Matthias M Müller; Ronald Hübner
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Psychological science     Volume:  13     ISSN:  0956-7976     ISO Abbreviation:  Psychol Sci     Publication Date:  2002 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-04-05     Completed Date:  2002-10-29     Revised Date:  2011-05-20    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9007542     Medline TA:  Psychol Sci     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  119-24     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Psychology, University of Liverpool, England, United Kingdom.
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MeSH Terms
Attention / physiology*
Cerebral Cortex / physiology
Event-Related Potentials, P300 / physiology
Evoked Potentials, Visual / physiology*
Field Dependence-Independence*
Orientation / physiology*
Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology*
Size Perception / physiology

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