The SSVEP tracks attention, not consciousness, during perceptual filling-in
AuthorDavidson, MJ; Mithen, W; Hogendoorn, H; van Boxtel, JJA; Tsuchiya, N
PublisherELIFE SCIENCES PUBLICATIONS LTD
University of Melbourne Author/sHogendoorn, Jacob
AffiliationMelbourne School of Psychological Sciences
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsDavidson, M. J., Mithen, W., Hogendoorn, H., van Boxtel, J. J. A. & Tsuchiya, N. (2020). The SSVEP tracks attention, not consciousness, during perceptual filling-in. ELIFE, 9, https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.60031.
Access StatusOpen Access
Open Access at PMChttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7682990
Research on the neural basis of conscious perception has almost exclusively shown that becoming aware of a stimulus leads to increased neural responses. By designing a novel form of perceptual filling-in (PFI) overlaid with a dynamic texture display, we frequency-tagged multiple disappearing targets as well as their surroundings. We show that in a PFI paradigm, the disappearance of a stimulus and subjective invisibility is associated with increases in neural activity, as measured with steady-state visually evoked potentials (SSVEPs), in electroencephalography (EEG). We also find that this increase correlates with alpha-band activity, a well-established neural measure of attention. These findings cast doubt on the direct relationship previously reported between the strength of neural activity and conscious perception, at least when measured with current tools, such as the SSVEP. Instead, we conclude that SSVEP strength more closely measures changes in attention.
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