Location selection in the visual domain

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According to A.H.C. Van der Heijden (1992), attentional selection of visual stimuli can be considered as location selection. Depending on the type of task, location selection can be considered to be automatic )e.g., in case of abrupt onsets), directly controlled (e.g., in case of symbolic precues), or indirectly controlled (e.g., in case of visual search). In tasks with symbolic precues a contralateral enhancement of the P1 event-related potential (ERP) component has been found, whereas in visual search tasks a contralateral enhancement of the N2 component has been found. We hypothesized that both lateralized effects reflect the influence of location selection, which differs only in its moment of activation. Linear arrays (a target among five distractors, presented at two eccentricities) requiring left or right responses, were preceded by cues indicating either the precise target location or the side of the target, or by bilateral cues that indicated all array positions. Array-evoked ERPs, corrected for cue-evoked and interactive effects, showed not only lateralized but also target location-specific effects for both components, which supports the view that, depending on the type of task, either the P1 or the N2 component reflect the influence of location selection.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)662-676
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • IR-76625

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