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Unattended and attended visual change detection of motion as indexed by event-related potentials and its behavioral correlates

Unattended and attended visual change detection of motion as indexed by event-related potentials and its behavioral correlates

Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 7: 476

Visual mismatch negativity (vMMN) is a negative-going component amongst cognitive event-related potentials. It reflects an automatic change-detection process that occurs when an infrequent stimulus is presented that is incongruent with the representation of a frequent (standard) event. In our research we use visual motion (more specifically motion direction changes) to study vMMN. Since movement in the visual field is quite irresistible to our brain, the question in hand is, if the detection of motion direction changes is dependent on attention directed to the stimulus. We present a new continuous whole-display stimulus configuration, where the attention capturing primary task of motion onset detection is in the central part of the visual display and visual oddball sequence on the background. The visual oddball paradigm consisted of 85% standard and 15% deviant events, motion direction change being the deviant. We show that even though the unattended visual oddball sequence does not affect the performance in the demanding behavioral primary task, the differences appearing in that sequence are noticed by our brain and reflected in two distinguishable vMMN components in occipital and parietal scalp locations. When attention is directed toward the visual oddball sequence, we only see different processing of standards and deviants in later time-windows and task-related activity in frontal scalp location. Our results are obtained under strict attention manipulation conditions.

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Accession: 056745936

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 23966932

DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00476

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