Spatial attention triggered by eye gaze enhances and speeds up visual processing in upper and lower visual fields beyond early striate visual processing.Clin Neurophysiol. 2005 Nov; 116(11):2565-76.CN
The detection of a lateralized visual target is faster when preceded by a face gazing to the location of this stimulus. Here we aimed to clarify the time-course of the visual processing modulated by these reflexive shifts of attention.
ERPs were measured on 16 subjects performing a speeded location task on a circular checkerboard. The checkerboard target appeared either on the left or right of the upper or lower visual field, and was preceded by a central face orienting its gaze obliquely to one of the four possible corner locations for the target to appear.
Congruently cued targets were located faster than incongruently cued targets and were associated with larger and earlier occipital P1 (approximately 110 ms) and occipito-parieto-temporal N1 (approximately 150 ms) components. However, no such attentional modulations were found on the earlier C1 visual component, best observed with a negative polarity for upper visual field stimulations, and thought to originate largely from primary visual cortex.
CONCLUSIONS AND SIGNIFICANCE
These results show that reflexive shifts of attention following oblique eye gaze to upper and lower visual fields increase and speed up the processing of visual information beyond the feedforward flow of information in primary visual cortex.