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Chaoqun Shi, Sinan Liu, Bingyang Zhao, Yu Meng, Xin Gong, Xiping Chen, Luyang Tao; Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Covert Attention With Different Degrees of Central Visual Field Defects: An ERP and sLORETA Study. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2022;63(4):19. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.63.4.19.
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The present study aimed to investigate the spatiotemporal dynamics of covert attention by simulating different degrees of central visual field defects in healthy subjects.
An electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded while 40 normal-sighted subjects performed a target discrimination task. Target stimuli simulated different defect degrees of the central visual field by artificially central scotomas (5, 10, 20, and 30 degrees of visual angle) masked on the center of black-and-white checkerboards. Event-related potentials (ERPs) and standardized low-resolution brain electromagnetic tomography (sLORETA) based on ERPs were analyzed.
ERP results indicated that during early perceptual processes, compared with 5-degree and 10-degree defects, N1 amplitudes of 20-degree and 30-degree defects decreased, whereas P2 amplitudes significantly reduced in 30-degree defects. During later discrimination and decision processing, N2 amplitudes gradually increased from 5-degree to 30-degree defects, whereas P3 amplitudes gradually decreased. Source localization indicated that 5-degree and 10-degree defects had stronger activations than 20-degree and 30-degree defects from the occipital cortex to the ventral stream and dorsal streams. Especially, 30-degree defects primarily recruited additional activations in the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and ventral stream and later caused the disconnection of dorsolateral prefrontal-posterior parietal cortices in the dorsal stream.
Different degrees of central visual field defects differed in distinct spatiotemporal characteristics at multiple stages of covert attention, from top-down forward feedback and attentional allocation to executive controls through ventral and dorsal processing streams, suggesting that the combination of ERP and source localization can reveal the spatiotemporal control capacity of the cortex on central visual field defects.
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