Shifting visual attention away from fixation is specifically associated with alpha band activity over ipsilateral parietal regions

Psychophysiology. 2011 Mar;48(3):312-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.2010.01066.x.


We studied brain activity during the displacement of attention in a modified visuo-spatial orienting paradigm. Using a behaviorally relevant no-shift condition as a control, we asked whether ipsi- or contralateral parietal alpha band activity is specifically related to covert shifts of attention. Cue-related event-related potentials revealed an attention directing anterior negativity (ADAN) contralateral to the shift of attention and P3 and contingent negative variation waveforms that were enhanced in both shift conditions as compared to the no-shift task. When attention was shifted away from fixation, alpha band activity over parietal regions ipsilateral to the attended hemifield was enhanced relative to the control condition, albeit with different dynamics in the upper and lower alpha subbands. Contralateral-to-attended parietal alpha band activity was indistinguishable from the no-shift task.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alpha Rhythm / physiology*
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Cues
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology
  • Female
  • Fixation, Ocular / physiology*
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Young Adult