Poster A100, Saturday, March 24, 1:30–3:30 pm, Exhibit Hall C
Neural correlates of consciousness in the medial temporal lobe: an intracranial EEG study of attentional blink.
Jim Herring1,2, Thomas Reber3, Florian Mormann3, Heleen Slagter1,2; 1Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2Amsterdam Brain and Cognition, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 3Department of Epileptology, University of Bonn Medical Center, Bonn, Germany
What determines whether we become aware of a piece of information or not? Conscious access has been robustly associated with activity within a distributed network of cortical regions. Yet, subcortical regions, including the hippocampus, influence cortical activity and their precise contributions to conscious perception remain unclear. Here, using intracranial electrophysiological (iEEG) recordings and an attentional blink (AB) task, we examined the role of several regions in the medial temporal lobe (MTL; the hippocampus, amygdala, parahippocampal gyrus and entorhinal cortex) in conscious perception. Medial temporal lobe activity was recorded while 9 epilepsy patients performed an attentional blink task in which a second target (T2) followed a first target (T1) after 150, 300, 450 or 600ms. Typically, T2 perception is greatly reduced when T2 follows T1 within about 500ms (i.e., the attentional blink). Patients displayed a robust attentional blink, with lower T2 detection rates at short compared to long intervals. In current analyses, we examine AB-related differences in neural processing in the MTL, as reflected in event-related potentials and spectral content, specifically in the theta band. Initial results demonstrate increases in theta activity following perceived versus invisible T2’s in the hippocampus. Next analyses will explore early T1-induced changes in activity predicting a failure to perceive T2. Together, these findings will reveal contributions of the MTL to conscious perception with high spatial and temporal precision.
Topic Area: PERCEPTION & ACTION: Vision