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Event related potentials reveal that increasing perceptual load leads to increased responses for target stimuli and decreased responses for irrelevant stimuli

Rorden, Chris; Guerrini, Chiara; Swainson, Rachel; Lazzeri, Marco; Baylis, Gordon C.

Authors

Chris Rorden

Rachel Swainson

Marco Lazzeri

Gordon C. Baylis

Abstract

Lavie (1995) have suggested that perceptual processing is influenced by perceptual load. Specifically, relevant information receives additional processing in high load situations exhausting the available capacity. On the other hand, irrelevant information receives less processing with increasing load on a relevant task, as there is a reduced amount of residual processing available. Rees et al. (1997) provided the first physiological evidence for this model, showing this pattern in a functional magnetic resonance imaging study. Likewise, Handy et al. (2001) offered supporting evidence measuring event related potentials (ERPs). Both of these studies presented irrelevant information in peripheral vision. Here we manipulated load while using the identical stimuli and the same task (a peripheral gap judgment task) with centrally presented irrelevant stimuli. ERPs show the pattern predicted by Lavie and colleagues, specifically for the N1 component. This work offers further evidence that visual attention modulates relatively early processing of perceptual information. Specifically, increasing load resulted in stronger N1 responses to relevant information and weaker N1 responses to irrelevant information. © 2008 Rorden, Guerrini, Swainson, Lazzeri and Baylis.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date May 22, 2008
Journal FRONTIERS IN HUMAN NEUROSCIENCE
Print ISSN 1662-5161
Publisher Frontiers Media
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2
Issue MAY
Article Number 4
Institution Citation Rorden, C., Guerrini, C., Swainson, R., Lazzeri, M., & Baylis, G. C. (2008). Event related potentials reveal that increasing perceptual load leads to increased responses for target stimuli and decreased responses for irrelevant stimuli. Frontiers in human neuroscience, 2(MAY), doi:10.3389/neuro.09.004.2008
DOI https://doi.org/10.3389/neuro.09.004.2008
Keywords Biological Psychiatry; Behavioral Neuroscience; Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology; Neurology; Psychiatry and Mental health
Publisher URL https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/neuro.09.004.2008/full

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Copyright Statement
© 2008 Rorden, Guerrini, Swainson, Lazzeri and Baylis. This is an open-access article subject to an exclusive license agreement between the authors and the Frontiers Research Foundation, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original authors and source are credited.



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