On the origin of event-related potentials indexing covert attentional selection during visual search

Jeremiah Y. Cohen, Richard P. Heitz, Jeffrey D. Schall, Geoffrey F. Woodman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Despite nearly a century of electrophysiological studies recording extracranially from humans and intracranially from monkeys, the neural generators of nearly all human event-related potentials (ERPs) have not been definitively localized. We recorded an attention-related ERP component, known as the N2pc, simultaneously with intracranial spikes and local field potentials (LFPs) in macaques to test the hypothesis that an attentional-control structure, the frontal eye field (FEF), contributed to the generation of the macaque homologue of the N2pc (m-N2pc). While macaques performed a difficult visual search task, the search target was selected earliest by spikes from single FEF neurons, later by FEF LFPs, and latest by the m-N2pc. This neurochronometric comparison provides an empirical bridge connecting macaque and human experiments and a step toward localizing the neural generator of this important attention-related ERP component.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2375-2386
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of neurophysiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2009


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Physiology

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