Effects of Preparatory Attention to Nonspatial Features in the Visual Cortex

Sean P. Fannon, George R Mangun

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Selective attention boosts neural responses to visual stimuli at attended locations or with attended features. Studies have also demonstrated attention-related changes in neural activity in regions coding the attended location or feature before the onset of visual stimuli. Several theories propose that these preparatory "baseline shifts" reflect top-down attentional biasing and may themselves modulate stimulus-driven neural responses. While location-specific preparatory activity is observed consistently for spatial attention, the evidence for analogous feature-specific activity during attention to nonspatial features is mixed. In this chapter, we review evidence for feature-specific preparatory attention effects in the sensory cortex and consider the factors that might influence whether they are observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCognitive Electrophysiology of Attention: Signals of the Mind
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9780123984517
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • Attention
  • Baseline shift
  • Feature attention
  • FMRI
  • Preparatory attention
  • Visual features

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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