Late electrophysiological modulations of feature-based attention to object shapes

Authors

  • Bobby Boge Stojanoski,

    1. Brain and Mind Institute, Department of Psychology, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada
    2. Department of Psychology, University of Toronto Scarborough, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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  • Matthias Niemeier

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychology, University of Toronto Scarborough, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    2. Centre for Vision Research, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    • Address correspondence to: Matthias Niemeier, Department of Psychology, University of Toronto Scarborough, 1265 Military Trail, Toronto, ON M1C 1A4, Canada. E-mail: niemeier@utsc.utoronto.ca

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  • This research was supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. We are thankful to the Centre for Biological Timing and Cognition.

Abstract

Feature-based attention has been shown to aid object perception. Our previous ERP effects revealed temporally late feature-based modulation in response to objects relative to motion. The aim of the current study was to confirm the timing of feature-based influences on object perception while cueing within the feature dimension of shape. Participants were told to expect either “pillow” or “flower” objects embedded among random white and black lines. Participants more accurately reported the object's main color for valid compared to invalid shapes. ERPs revealed modulation from 252–502 ms, from occipital to frontal electrodes. Our results are consistent with previous findings examining the time course for processing similar stimuli (illusory contours). Our results provide novel insights into how attending to features of higher complexity aids object perception presumably via feed-forward and feedback mechanisms along the visual hierarchy.

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