Poster A8, Saturday, March 25, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Pacific Concourse
Contributions of the Supplementary Motor Area to the interaction between phasic alerting and conscious perception
Mar Martín-Signes1, Carlos Pérez-Serrano1, Ana B. Chica1; 1University of Granada
Attention is considered as one of the pre-requisites of conscious perception. Phasic alerting facilitates conscious perception through a fronto-striatal network, including the anterior cingulate cortex, supplementary motor area, frontal eye fields, thalamus, and caudate nucleus (Chica et al., 2016). In the present study, we explored the causal implication of the Supplementary Motor Area (SMA) in the relationship between phasic alerting and conscious perception. A sample of 32 participants was tested using a 1Hz offline repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) protocol while participants discriminated a Gabor stimulus presented in the threshold of consciousness. An auditory alerting tone was presented in half of the trials to manipulate phasic alerting. Results were compared with a sham condition and an active control, where the Inferior Parietal Sulcus (IPS) was stimulated. rTMS over SMA, as compared to the sham condition, reduced the alerting effect on the percentage of consciously perceived stimuli, while rTMS over IPS did not modulate the alerting effect, proving that the rTMS-SMA modulation was region-specific. Our results highlight the causal implication of the SMA in the relationship between phasic alerting and conscious perception, providing new data for the understanding of how different attentional networks interact with conscious perception and about the neural mechanisms underlying these interactions.
Topic Area: ATTENTION: Nonspatial