Brain Potentials Associated with Structural and Functional Visual Matching

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Ten subjects were presented with a series of slides composed of three figures each. Two of the figures were structurally matched (look alikes) while two were functionally (conceptually) matched. A tone burst preceded each slide by 100 msec. In mixed mode conditions, the frequency of the tone cued which type of match was to be performed on the following slide. In fixed mode conditions, the same type of match was made for each slide; the tones conveying only temporal information.

Reaction time data indicated that functional matching was a more difficult task than structural matching. Spectral analysis of the EEG indicated that less alpha power was present for functional than structural matching. Mode of matching, however, had no effect on either the performance or spectral data.

Two-event-related potential components were dissociated within the preparatory interval. The first component was sensitive to the mode of matching becoming larger parietally when the warning tone conveyed task relevant information. The second component was more pronounced centrally and asymmetric in its distribution over the two hemispheres for all experimental tasks.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Neuropsychologia, v. 16, issue 5, p. 571-585