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Poster F27

Investigating the role of beta oscillations in top-down control

Poster Session F - Tuesday, April 16, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Francesca Nannetti1 (, Matias Ison1, Domenica Veniero1; 1The University of Nottingham, United Kingdom

Neuronal oscillations play a key role in the attentional modulation of visual processes. A growing number of evidence indicates that beta activity is influential in the top-down control of visual areas. Here, we wanted to further investigate the role of this oscillatory activity by using a multimodal approach involving EEG and TMS. Participants covertly shifted their attention to one of two locations in a block design. Coherently moving dots then appeared in either cued or uncued locations and participants discriminated motion direction. In the first experiment, EEG was recorded, and performance sampled at different time points from the appearance of a flash, indicating the beginning of the trial. Results show significant pre-flash and pre-stimulus anti-phase activity, between shift right vs. left task conditions (p = .001) in the beta band, over occipital electrodes. This could be indicative of attention-like mechanisms sampling alternatively from the two visual fields. We then used perceptual sensitivity (d’) and decision criterion (c) measures as determinants of perceptual performance and found that c also fluctuates over time following a beta wave. In a follow-up experiment, we are now looking to establish causality using rhythmic TMS with the same task, stimulating at region V5. TMS will be used at different frequencies (α, β, arrhythmic) to reveal whether boosting beta activity causally modulates visuospatial attention.

Topic Area: ATTENTION: Spatial


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April 13–16  |  2024