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  • Publication
    Modulation of the Earliest Component of the Human VEP by Spatial Attention: An Investigation of Task Demands
    (Oxford University Press, 2020-08-05) ; ; ;
    Spatial attention modulations of initial afferent activity in area V1, indexed by the first component “C1” of the human visual evoked potential, are rarely found. It has thus been suggested that early modulation is induced only by special task conditions, but what these conditions are remains unknown. Recent failed replications—findings of no C1 modulation using a certain task that had previously produced robust modulations—present a strong basis for examining this question. We ran 3 experiments, the first to more exactly replicate the stimulus and behavioral conditions of the original task, and the second and third to manipulate 2 key factors that differed in the failed replication studies: the provision of informative performance feedback, and the degree to which the probed stimulus features matched those facilitating target perception. Although there was an overall significant C1 modulation of 11%, individually, only experiments 1 and 2 showed reliable effects, underlining that the modulations do occur but not consistently. Better feedback induced greater P1, but not C1, modulations. Target-probe feature matching had an inconsistent influence on modulation patterns, with behavioral performance differences and signal-overlap analyses suggesting interference from extrastriate modulations as a potential cause.
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