Image_1_The Temporal Dynamic Relationship Between Attention and Crowding: Electrophysiological Evidence From an Event-Related Potential Study.TIF (6.93 MB)

Image_1_The Temporal Dynamic Relationship Between Attention and Crowding: Electrophysiological Evidence From an Event-Related Potential Study.TIF

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posted on 22.11.2018 by Chunhua Peng, Chunmei Hu, Youguo Chen

Visual crowding is the difficulty experienced in identifying a target flanked by other objects within the peripheral visual field. Despite extensive research conducted on this topic, the precise relationship between attention and crowding is still debatable. One perspective suggests that crowding is a bottom-up and pre-attentive process, while another suggests that crowding is top-down and attentional. A third perspective proposes that crowding is a combination of bottom-up and top-down processes. To address this debate, the current study manipulated the attention and distance between targets and flankers, while simultaneously measuring event-related potentials, in human participants. Results indicated that, compared to uncrowded targets, crowded targets elicited more negative frontal N1 and P2 activity and a less negative occipital N1 activity, regardless of whether targets were attended or unattended, and a more positive occipital P2 activity when they were attended. Furthermore, the crowded minus uncrowded difference amplitude was more negative over the frontal region and more positive over the occipital region when the targets were attended, compared to when they were unattended during the N1 and P2 stages. This suggests that crowding, a concept that originates from Gestalt grouping, occurs automatically and can be modulated by attention.

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