Different effects of voluntary and involuntary attention on EEG activity in the gamma band

Ayelet N. Landau*, Michael Esterman, Lynn C. Robertson, Shlomo Bentin, William Prinzmetal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Previous studies have shown that EEG activity in the gamma range can be modulated by attention. Here, we compared this activity for voluntary and involuntary spatial attention in a spatial-cueing paradigm with faces as targets. The stimuli and trial timing were kept constant across attention conditions with only the predictive value of the cue changing. Gamma-band response was linked to voluntary shifts of attention, but not to the involuntary capture of attention. The presence of increased gamma responses for the voluntary allocation of attention, and its absence in cases of involuntary capture suggests that the neural mechanisms governing these two types of attention are different. Moreover, these data allow a description of the temporal dynamics contributing to the dissociation between voluntary and involuntary attention. The distribution of this correlate of voluntary attention is consistent with a top-down process involving contralateral anterior and posterior regions.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)11986-11990
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number44
StatePublished - 31 Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Attention
  • Cueing
  • EEG
  • Electroencephalogram
  • Faces
  • Gamma
  • Visual selectivity


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