+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
EurekaMag Most Shared ContentMost Shared
EurekaMag PDF Full Text ContentPDF Full Text
+ PDF Full Text
Request PDF Full TextRequest PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on FacebookFollow on Facebook
Follow on TwitterFollow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedInFollow on LinkedIn

+ Translate

Subcortical control of visual thresholds in humans evidence for modality specific and retinotopically organized mechanisms of selective attention

Subcortical control of visual thresholds in humans evidence for modality specific and retinotopically organized mechanisms of selective attention

Experimental Brain Research 29(2): 173-190

The control of visual thresholds in relation to selective attention and goal directed saccadic eye movements was studied in human subjects. Visual thresholds increased by about 0.5-1 log unit when targets were repeatedly presented in the periphery of the visual field while the subjects were fixating. The diameter of the adapted area and the amplitude of the threshold elevation increased with retinal eccentricity but did not depend on other stimulus parameters such as target size or target luminosity. Irrespective of target size the diameter of the adapted field was in the range of close to the fovea and reached up to in the visual field periphery. This elevation of detection thresholds could be reset either by adapting a mirror symmetric area in the contralateral visual field or by directing a saccadic eye movement towards a target which was presented in an area mirror symmetric to the adapted field. When saccades were performed in the absence of the target stimulus or when they were directed towards targets outside the mirror symmetric area no rosetting occurred. Adaptation was further prevented when the subject was allowed to saccade towards the adapting target. Measurements in patients with cortical hemianopia indicated that these phenomena were mediated by subcortical visual centers since they could be influenced by stimulation in the blind hemifield. Participation of subcortical centers, especially of the tectum, was further suggested by the numerous correlations between the present psychophysical observations and the available neurophysiological data on subcortical visual pathways. The retino-tectal system may determine detection thresholds in a retinotopically organized way and guide visual attention towards particular areas within the visual field. The observations in hemianopic patients suggested that these operations are accomplished in parallel to cortical analysis and remain functional after striatal lesions. They are, however, inaccessible to conscious experience.

(PDF emailed within 0-6 h: $19.90)

Accession: 006534045

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 913514

DOI: 10.1007/bf00237040

Related references

Coupling between Theta Oscillations and Cognitive Control Network during Cross-Modal Visual and Auditory Attention: Supramodal vs Modality-Specific Mechanisms. Plos One 11(7): E0158465-E0158465, 2016

Automatic gain control contrast mechanisms are modulated by attention in humans: Evidence from visual evoked potentials. Vision Research 41(19): 2435-2447, September, 2001

Supramodal and modality-specific mechanisms for stimulus-driven shifts of auditory and visual attention. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology 48(2): 242-259, 1994

Visual mental imagery induces retinotopically organized activation of early visual areas. Cerebral Cortex 15(10): 1570-1583, 2005

Selective attention modulates sensory activity of primary visual areas Electrophysiological evidence in humans. Society for Neuroscience Abstracts 23(1-2): 299, 1997

Subcortical, modality-specific pathways contribute to multisensory processing in humans. Cerebral Cortex 24(8): 2169-2177, 2015

Brain Mechanisms of Selective Perception and Action || Sensory Gain Control (Amplification) as a Mechanism of Selective Attention: Electro-Physiological and Neuroimaging Evidence. Philosophical Transactions Biological Sciences 353(1373): 1257-1270, 1998

Oscillatory alpha-band mechanisms and the deployment of spatial attention to anticipated auditory and visual target locations: supramodal or sensory-specific control mechanisms?. Journal of Neuroscience 31(27): 9923-9932, 2011

Is there a specific pattern of attention deficit in mild cognitive impairment with subcortical vascular features? Evidence from the Attention Network Test. Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders 31(4): 268-275, 2011

Subcortical gating in the human visual system during spatial selective attention. International Journal of Psychophysiology 9(2): 105-120, 1990

Selective attention reduces physiological noise in the external ear canals of humans. II: visual attention. Hearing Research 312: 160-167, 2014

Partial correlation analysis reveals abnormal retinotopically organized functional connectivity of visual areas in amblyopia. Neuroimage. Clinical 18: 192-201, 2018

A paired case-control comparison of ziprasidone on visual sustained attention and visual selective attention in patients with paranoid schizophrenia. European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences 19(16): 2952-2956, 2016

Monoamines in the control of state dependent cortical functions evidence from studies of selective attention in animals and humans. Bandler, R (Ed ) Neurology And Neurobiology, Vol 12 Modulation Of Sensorimotor Activity During Alterations in Behavioral States; Proceedings Of A Satellite Symposium Of The 29th Congress Of The International Union Of Physiological Sciences, Queensland, Australia, Sept 4-8, 1983 Xiii+535p Alan R Liss, Inc : New York, N Y , Usa Illus 487-502, 1984

Intra modality selective attention and the p 300 a reexamination in a visual monitoring task. Psychophysiology 15(3): 269-270, 1978