Utz S, Humphreys G W, Mc Cleery J P, 2011, "Brain activity during encoding of centrally and peripherally presented visual search targets in adults and children" Perception 40 ECVP Abstract Supplement, page 66
Brain activity during encoding of centrally and peripherally presented visual search targets in adults and children
S Utz, G W Humphreys, J P Mc Cleery
The detection of pre-defined targets in visual search tasks becomes increasingly less efficient as the target is presented at more distant field eccentricities, which is reflected in increased reaction times. To date, however, the neural mechanisms underlying visual search for targets presented in different spatial locations are quite unclear. In the current study, adults and children performed a complex conjunction search task (searching for a red “X” with green “X” and red “T” distractors), and event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded in response to a 200 ms long pre-presentation of the visual search field. In both groups, ERPs to centrally presented targets revealed that the occipito-temporal cortex discriminated targets from distractors, the target was kept in visual working memory by the occipital cortex, and then the target’s spatial location was encoded in the parietal cortex. Unlike in a simple visual search task, no such effects were found for peripherally presented targets, perhaps reflecting that peripheral targets are not detected during the initial fixation (initial 200 ms) of visual search. Interestingly, in children, the effects of central target processing were larger in the left versus the right hemisphere. Overall, however, similar mechanisms seem to be operating during visual search in children and adults.
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