Cortical evidence for negative search templates

Reshanne R. Reeder, Christian N.L. Olivers, Stefan Pollmann*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

A “target template”, specifying target features, is thought to benefit visual search performance. Setting up a “negative template”, specifying distractor features, should improve distractor inhibition and also benefit target detection. In the current fMRI study, subjects were required to search for a target among distractors enclosed in coloured circles. Before search, one of three colour cues appeared: a positive cue indicating the target will appear in the same colour, a negative cue indicating only distractors will appear in the same colour, or a neutral cue indicating that the same colour will not appear in the search display. fMRI results revealed down-regulation of neural processing in large parts of visual cortex following negative compared to positive cues. We further found a general attention inhibition mechanism in SPL/precuneus for neutral cues compared to positive and negative cues. These results suggest a cortical distinction between target templates, negative templates, and task-irrelevant distractor inhibition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-290
Number of pages13
JournalVisual Cognition
Volume25
Issue number1-3
Early online date23 Jun 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Funding

This project was supported by Open Research Area grants DFG PO 548/16-1 to SP and NWO 464-13-003, NL, and European Research Council Consolidator grant ERC-CoG-2013-615423 to CO; Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft; Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek. We would like to thank Lasse Gueldener for his help with data collection for this study. This project was supported by Open Research Area grants DFG PO 548/16-1 to SP and NWO 464-13-003, NL, and European Research Council Consolidator grant ERC-CoG-2013-615423 to CO; Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft; Nederlandse Organisa-tie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek.

FundersFunder number
DFG PO
European Research CouncilERC-CoG-2013-615423
Deutsche ForschungsgemeinschaftNWO 464-13-003, PO 548/16-1
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek
Aard- en Levenswetenschappen, Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek

    Keywords

    • distractor inhibition
    • fMRI
    • Negative cueing
    • negative template
    • visual search

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