Journal article

Non-retinotopic feature integration decreases response-locked brain activity as revealed by electrical neuroimaging

When presented with dynamic scenes, the brain integrates visual elements across space and time. Such non-retinotopic processing has been intensively studied from a psychophysical point of view, but little is known about the underlying neural processes. Here we used high-density EEG to reveal neural correlates of non-retinotopic feature integration. In an offset-discrimination task we presented sequences of lines for which feature integration depended on a small, endogenous shift of attention. Attention effects were observed in the stimulus-locked evoked potentials but non-retinotopic feature integration was reflected in voltage topographies time-locked to the behavioral response, lasting for about 400 ms. Statistical parametric mapping of estimated current densities revealed that this integration reduced electrical activity in an extensive network of brain areas, with the effects progressing from high-level visual, via frontal, to central ones. The results suggest that endogenously timed neural processes, rather than bottom-up ones, underlie non-retinotopic feature integration.

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