Decoding covert spatial attention using electrocorticographic (ECoG) signals in humans

Neuroimage. 2012 May 1;60(4):2285-93. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.02.017. Epub 2012 Feb 16.


This study shows that electrocorticographic (ECoG) signals recorded from the surface of the brain provide detailed information about shifting of visual attention and its directional orientation in humans. ECoG allows for the identification of the cortical areas and time periods that hold the most information about covert attentional shifts. Our results suggest a transient distributed fronto-parietal mechanism for orienting of attention that is represented by different physiological processes. This neural mechanism encodes not only whether or not a subject shifts their attention to a location, but also the locus of attention. This work contributes to our understanding of the electrophysiological representation of attention in humans. It may also eventually lead to brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) that optimize user interaction with their surroundings or that allow people to communicate choices simply by shifting attention to them.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Electroencephalography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Photic Stimulation