Spatial attention affects brain activity in human primary visual cortex

Sunil P. Gandhi, David J. Heeger, Geoffrey M. Boynton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Functional MRI was used to test whether instructing subjects to attend to one or another location in a visual scene would affect neural activity in human primary visual cortex. Stimuli were moving gratings restricted to a pair of peripheral, circular apertures, positioned to the right and to the left of a central fixation point. Subjects were trained to perform a motion discrimination task, attending (without moving their eyes) at any moment to one of the two stimulus apertures. Functional MRI responses were recorded while subjects were cued to alternate their attention between the two apertures. Primary visual cortex responses in each hemisphere modulated with the alternation of the cue; responses were greater when the subject attended to the stimuli in the contralateral hemifield. The attentional modulation of the brain activity was about 25% of that evoked by alternating the stimulus with a uniform field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3314-3319
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume96
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 16 1999

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Visual Cortex
Human Activities
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Brain
Cues
Discrimination (Psychology)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General

Cite this

Spatial attention affects brain activity in human primary visual cortex. / Gandhi, Sunil P.; Heeger, David J.; Boynton, Geoffrey M.

In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 96, No. 6, 16.03.1999, p. 3314-3319.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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