Subcortical attentional processing in a temporal order judgement paradigm employing endogenous cues

Academic Article


  • Purpose. We have demonstrated a subcortical attentional effect in a temporal order judgement (TOJ) task employing exogenous attentional cues. This effect was isolated by comparing the responses to binocular and monocular stimulus presentations. The present study is designed to examine the impact of endogenous attentional cues in the TOJ task. Methodji. Two targets were presented (either simultaneously or with a ±60 ms stimulus onset asynchrony) to either side of a central fixation cue (an arrow which pointed randomly to the left or right). Subjects were required to maintain fixation on the arrow while shifting attention to the target location indicated by the arrow. Subjects were tested under both monocular and binocular conditions and were instructed to indicate in a forced choice manner which target appeared first. Results. Subjects were able to direct attention laterally while maintaining central fixation and this attentional shift enhanced target processing (F(l,162) = 35.74, p< .01). Monocular temporal hemifield presentations did not result in an additional enhancement of the attentional effect. There was no difference in the attentional effect between monocular and binocular viewing conditions. Conclusions. The results of this experiment taken together with the results of our previous study suggest that while cortical attention acts to facilitate attention in the presence of exogenous cues it plays no role in voluntarily directed attention.
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