Modulations of Sensory-Evoked Brain Potentials Indicate Changes in Perceptual Processing During Visual-Spatial Priming

George R Mangun, Steven A. Hillyard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

616 Scopus citations

Abstract

Reaction time (RT) differences to visual stimuli as a function of expectancy have been attributed to changes in perceptual processing or entirely to shifts in decision and response criteria. To help distinguish between these competing interpretations, event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were recorded to lateralized flashes delivered to visual field locations precued by a central arrow (valid stimuli) or not precued (invalid stimuli). Validly cued stimuli in both simple and choice RT tasks elicited consistent amplitude enhancements of the early, sensory-evoked P1 component of the ERP recorded at scalp sites overlying lateral prestriate visual cortex (90-130 ms poststimulus). In contrast, the subsequent N1 component (150-200 ms) was enhanced by validly cued stimuli in the choice RT task condition only. These electrophysiological findings support models proposing that the behavioral effects of precuing expected target locations are due, at least in part, to changes in sensory-perceptual processing. Furthermore, these data provide specific information regarding the neural mechanisms underlying such effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1057-1074
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Volume17
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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