Prior research has shown contextual manipulations involving temporal and sequence related factors significantly moderate attention-related responses, as indexed by the P3b event-related-potential, towards infrequent (i.e., deviant) target oddball stimuli. However, significantly less research has looked at the influence of cross-modal switching on P3b responding, with the impact of target-to-target cross-modal transitions being virtually unstudied. To address this gap, this study recorded high-density (256 electrodes) EEG data from twenty-five participants as they completed a cross-modal visual-auditory oddball task. This task was comprised of unimodal visual (70% Nontargets: 30% Deviant-targets) and auditory (70% Nontargets: 30% Deviant-targets) oddballs presented in fixed alternating order (i.e., visual-auditory-visual-auditory, etc.) with participants being tasked with detecting deviant-targets in both modalities. Differences in the P3b response towards deviant-targets as a function of preceding deviant-target's presentation modality was analyzed using temporal-spatial PCA decomposition. In line with predictions, the results indicate that the ERP response to auditory deviant-targets preceded by visual deviant-targets exhibits an elevated P3b, relative to the processing of auditory deviant-targets preceded by auditory deviant-targets. However, the processing of visual deviant-targets preceded by auditory deviant-targets exhibited a reduced P3b response, relative to the P3b response towards visual deviant-targets preceded by visual deviant-targets. These findings provide the first demonstration of temporally and perceptually decoupled target-to-target cross-modal transitions moderating P3b responses on the oddball paradigm, generally providing support for the context-updating interpretation of the P3b response.
International Journal of Psychophysiology – Elsevier
Published: Jul 1, 2018
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