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Disturbance of visual search by stimulating to posterior parietal cortex in the brain using transcranial magnetic stimulation

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5 Author(s)
Iramina, K. ; Department of Intelligent Systems, Graduate School of Information Science and Electrical Engineering, Kyushu University, Fukuoka 819-0395, Japan ; Sheng Ge ; Hyodo, Akira ; Hayami, T.
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In this study, we applied a transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to investigate the temporal aspect for the functional processing of visual attention. Although it has been known that right posterior parietal cortex (PPC) in the brain has a role in certain visual search tasks, there is little knowledge about the temporal aspect of this area. Three visual search tasks that have different difficulties of task execution individually were carried out. These three visual search tasks are the “easy feature task,” the “hard feature task,” and the “conjunction task.” To investigate the temporal aspect of the PPC involved in the visual search, we applied various stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) and measured the reaction time of the visual search. The magnetic stimulation was applied on the right PPC or the left PPC by the figure-eight coil. The results show that the reaction times of the hard feature task are longer than those of the easy feature task. When SOA=150 ms, compared with no-TMS condition, there was a significant increase in target-present reaction time when TMS pulses were applied. We considered that the right PPC was involved in the visual search at about SOA=150 ms after visual stimulus presentation. The magnetic stimulation to the right PPC disturbed the processing of the visual search. However, the magnetic stimulation to the left PPC gives no effect on the processing of the visual search.

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Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:105 ,  Issue: 7 )