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More than Meets the Mind’s Eye? Preliminary Observations Hint at Heterogeneous Alpha Neuromarkers for Visual Attention

Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences, Florida Atlantic University, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton, FL 33431, USA
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(11), 307; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9110307
Received: 1 October 2019 / Revised: 28 October 2019 / Accepted: 31 October 2019 / Published: 2 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ERP and EEG Markers of Brain Visual Attentional Processing)
With their salient power distribution and privileged timescale for cognition and behavior, brainwaves within the 10 Hz band are special in human waking electroencephalography (EEG). From the inception of electroencephalographic technology, the contribution of alpha rhythm to attention is well-known: Its amplitude increases when visual attention wanes or visual input is removed. However, alpha is not alone in the 10 Hz frequency band. A number of other 10 Hz neuromarkers have function and topography clearly distinct from alpha. In small pilot studies, an activity that we named xi was found over left centroparietal scalp regions when subjects held their attention to spatially peripheral locations while maintaining their gaze centrally (“looking from the corner of the eyes”). I outline several potential functions for xi as a putative neuromarker of covert attention distinct from alpha. I review methodological aids to test and validate their functional role. They emphasize high spectral resolution, sufficient spatial resolution to provide topographical separation, and an acute attention to dynamics that caters to neuromarkers’ transiency. View Full-Text
Keywords: EEG; alpha; xi; Posner; covert attention EEG; alpha; xi; Posner; covert attention
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Tognoli, E. More than Meets the Mind’s Eye? Preliminary Observations Hint at Heterogeneous Alpha Neuromarkers for Visual Attention. Brain Sci. 2019, 9, 307.

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