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    Modulations of early somatosensory ERP components by transient and sustained spatial attention

    Eimer, Martin and Forster, B. (2003) Modulations of early somatosensory ERP components by transient and sustained spatial attention. Experimental Brain Research 151 (1), pp. 24-31. ISSN 0014-4819.

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    To investigate when and how spatial attention affects somatosensory processing, event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were recorded in response to mechanical tactile stimuli delivered to the left and right hand while attention was directed to one of these hands. The attended hand either remained constant throughout an experimental block (sustained attention), or was changed across successive trials (transient attention). Attentional modulations of the N140 component and a sustained 'processing negativity' for attended stimuli were observed in both attention conditions. However, attentional effects on earlier somatosensory components differed systematically. Sustained attention resulted in a contralateral negativity overlapping with the N80 component, while transient attention was reflected by a bilateral positivity overlapping with the P100 component. This dissociation indicates that sustained and transient attention affect different somatosensory areas. It is suggested that sustained attention can modulate tactile processing within primary somatosensory cortex (S1), while effects of transient attention are located beyond S1. Overall, results demonstrate that spatial selectivity in touch is mediated by activity modulations in modality-specific somatosensory cortex.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2019 16:54
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:55


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