On the processing of spatial frequencies as revealed by evoked-potential source modeling

J L Kenemans, J M Baas, G R Mangun, M Lijffijt, and M N Verbaten (2000). Clin Neurophysiol, 111(6):1113-23.

OBJECTIVES AND METHODS: Visually evoked potentials (VEPs) are known to be sensitive to spatial frequency, especially in the time range between 50 and 100 ms post-stimulus. In two experiments we localized the cortical activity elicitedby stimuli of varying spatial frequency in scalp-recorded brain potentials, using multi-electrode recordings and dipole-source analysis. RESULTS: Low spatial frequencies (<1 c/d) activated relatively lateral occipital areas, the orientation of the neural ensembles involved being predominantly perpendicular to the scalp surface. In contrast, high spatial frequencies (>4 c/d) induced activation of more medial occipital areas with the predominant orientation of the sources being much more parallel to the scalp surface. Furthermore, at about 100ms latency the lateral-occipital response to low spatial frequencies was stronger in the right hemisphere; no such asymmetry was found for the responses to the high spatial frequencies. These findings were consistent across varying recording conditions, individual subjects, subject populations, stimulus characteristics (grating orientation, grating vs. checkerboard), and task conditions (active vs.passive). CONCLUSION: The results indicate that there are differences in sensitivity to specific spatial frequencies between primary and secondary visualareas, as well as between the right and the left hemispheres.

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