Attentional dynamics during free picture viewing: Evidence from oculomotor behavior and electrocortical activity

Thomas Fischera*, Sven Thomas Graupnera, Boris M. Velichkovsky, Sebastian Pannasch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Most empirical evidence on attentional control is based on brief presentations of rather abstract stimuli. Results revealed indications for a dynamic interplay between bottom-up and top-down attentional mechanisms. Here we used axperiment (time on task). For picture viewing, we found an increase in fixation duration and a decrease of saccadic amplitude while these parameters did not change with time on task. Furthermore, early in picture viewing we observed higher spatial and temporal similarity of gaze behavior. Analyzing electrical brain activity revealed for components of the eye fixation-related potential (EFRP; C1, N1 and P2) changes during picture viewing; no variation was obtained for the power in the frontal beta- and in the theta activity. Time on task analyses demonstrated no effects on the EFRP amplitudes but an increase of power in the frontal theta and beta band activity. Thus, behavioral and electrophysiological measures similarly show characteristic changes during picture viewing, indicating a shifting balance of its underlying (bottom-up and top-down) attentional mechanisms. Time on task also modulated top-down attention but probably represent a different attentional mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in Systems Neuroscience
Issue numberJune
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2013
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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