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Spectral analysis of cortical electro encephalographic activity during visual attention


, : Spectral analysis of cortical electro encephalographic activity during visual attention. Physiological Psychology 10(3): 336-342

Cortical EEG activity was recorded from 4 chronically implanted cats before, during and after the presentation of a visual discrimination task. Sample epochs of auditory cortex EEG activity from the 3 attentive states, in the absence of bodily movement, were subjected to the fast Fourier transform and the average power spectra were determined for the frequency bands .theta. (4-8 Hz), .alpha. (8-13 Hz), .beta. 1 (13-20 Hz) and .beta. 2 (20-40 Hz). The amount of power within the .theta. frequency range was significantly larger when the attention of the cats was focused on the visual discrimination than when they were nonattentive. Increased visual attention had no systematic effect on the amount of power occurring in the .alpha., .beta. 1 and .beta. 2 frequency bands. The function of the hippocampus in selective attention is one of gating or filtering, which allows an animal to ignore or filter out background, irrelevant stimuli.

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