The N2cc component as an electrophysiological marker of space-based and feature-based attentional target selection processes in touch

Tobias Katus (Corresponding Author), Martin Eimer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

An electrophysiological correlate of attentional target selection processes in touch (N2cc component) has recently been discovered in lateralized tactile working memory experiments. This tactile N2cc emerges at the same time as the visual N2pc component but has a different modality-specific topography over central somatosensory areas. Here, we investigated links between N2cc components and the space-based versus feature-based attentional selection of task-relevant tactile stimuli. On each trial, a pair of tactile items was presented simultaneously to one finger on the left and right hand. Target stimuli were defined by their location (e.g., left index finger; Spatial Attention Task), by a nonspatial feature (continuous vs. pulsed; Feature-Based Attention Task), or by a combination of spatial and nonspatial features (Conjunction Task). Reliable N2cc components were observed in all three tasks. They emerged considerably earlier in the Spatial Attention Task than in the Feature-Based Attention Task, suggesting that space-based selection mechanisms in touch operate faster than feature-guided mechanisms. The temporal pattern of N2cc components observed in the Conjunction Task revealed that space-based and feature-based attention both contributed to target selection, which was initially driven primarily by spatial location. Overall, these findings establish the N2cc component as a new electrophysiological marker of the selective attentional processing of task-relevant stimuli in touch.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13391
JournalPsychophysiology
Volume56
Issue number9
Early online date8 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019

Keywords

  • electroencephalography (EEG)
  • event‐related potentials (ERPs)
  • feature‐based attention
  • somatosensory processing
  • spatial attention
  • VISUAL-SEARCH
  • feature-based attention
  • ERP EVIDENCE
  • BRAIN POTENTIALS
  • SPATIAL ATTENTION
  • event-related potentials (ERPs)
  • PARALLEL

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