Selective visual-spatial attention alters induced gamma band responses in the human EEG

Clin Neurophysiol. 1999 Dec;110(12):2074-85. doi: 10.1016/s1388-2457(99)00176-5.


Objectives: The present study was designed to investigate the attentional modulation of gamma band responses in a visual spatial attention task using a 128-channel-EEG-montage.

Methods: Colored rectangles were presented on a screen. After 500 ms an arrow indicated whether subjects had to shift their attention to the left or right half of the screen to detect target stimuli. During the task, either the attended half of the screen rotated horizontally while the unattended part remained motionless, or vice versa.

Results: When subjects attended the rotating stimulus, we found significantly higher power in a specific gamma band from 35-51 Hz on parieto-occipital electrode sites contralateral to the stimulation side. In addition, after the onset of the arrow which indicated what side subjects should direct their attention to, the 35-51 Hz response shifted from a broad posterior distribution to an increase of power at parieto-occipital sites contralateral to the to-be-attended side. Furthermore, the rotating stimulus elicited higher gamma band power as compared to the standing stimulus at electrode locations, which may be related to the activity of underlying cortical structures specialized for motion processing.

Conclusions: The present results replicate important parts of previous findings of enhanced gamma power when a moving stimulus was attended.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Electroencephalography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Space Perception / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*