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This study investigated the influence of target probability on the neural response to target detection in free viewing visual search. Participants were asked to indicate the number of targets (one or two) among distractors in a visual search task while EEG and eye movements were co-registered. Target probability was manipulated by varying the set size of the displays between 10, 22, and 30 items. Fixation-related potentials time-locked to first target fixations revealed a pronounced P300 at the centro-parietal cortex with larger amplitudes for set sizes 22 and 30 than for set size 10. With increasing set size, more distractor fixations preceded the detection of the target, resulting in a decreased target probability and, consequently, a larger P300. For distractors, no increase of P300 amplitude with set size was observed. The findings suggest that set size specifically affects target but not distractor processing in overt serial visual search.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Biological psychology
Visual search involves a sequence or routine of unitary operations (i.e. fixations) embedded in a larger mental global program. The process can indeed be seen as a program based on a while loop (while...
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The recorded electrical responses from nerve, muscle, SENSORY RECEPTOR, or area of the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM following stimulation. They range from less than a microvolt to several microvolts. The evoked potential can be auditory (EVOKED POTENTIALS, AUDITORY), somatosensory (EVOKED POTENTIALS, SOMATOSENSORY), visual (EVOKED POTENTIALS, VISUAL), or motor (EVOKED POTENTIALS, MOTOR), or other modalities that have been reported. Often used synonymously to event-related potentials which are associated with higher level cognitive processes.
Depolarization of membrane potentials at the SYNAPTIC MEMBRANES of target neurons during neurotransmission. Excitatory postsynaptic potentials can singly or in summation reach the trigger threshold for ACTION POTENTIALS.
Hyperpolarization of membrane potentials at the SYNAPTIC MEMBRANES of target neurons during NEUROTRANSMISSION. They are local changes which diminish responsiveness to excitatory signals.
The electric response evoked in the cerebral cortex by visual stimulation or stimulation of the visual pathways.
Temporary visual deficit or impaired visual processing occurring in a rapid serial visual presentation task. After a person identifies the first of two visual targets, the ability to detect the second target is impaired for the next few hundred milliseconds. This phenomenon is called attentional blink.