This thesis investigates the use of EEG to track the spatial locus of covert, visual attention. Three experiments are described that were to detect the position of visual attention as it was deployed towards targets as they appeared. The first experiment uses flickering fields placed in the periphery of the visual field to induce SSVEPs, to be used to track the position of attention which varies horizontally between them. The flickers failed to produce significant SSVEP activity. However attention locus could still able to be tracked by endogenous lateralizations of 12Hz and 18Hz activity. A second experiment was then designed to track attention locus as it varied either horizontally or vertically using only endogenous EEG activity in the alpha (10Hz), low-beta (18Hz), high-beta (24Hz) and gamma (36Hz) bands. Tracking proved successful in all but a small number of subjects. Horizontally varying attention was associated with lateralizations of the alpha band and low-beta band, while vertically varying attention was associated with varying alpha band and low-beta band activity in the occipito-parietal junction over the central sulcus. A third experiment was then performed to track attention locus as it varied in two dimensions. Using a combination of the features found to be informative in the second experiment, tracking proved successful in up to nine bins of two-dimensional visual space. Tracking in either the horizontal or vertical dimension was also successful when attention varied in two dimensions. The success of this method shows that EEG can be used to passively detect the spatial position of attention, at varying degrees of position, as a person attends to objects they see.
|Commitee:||Ombao, Hernando, Srinivasan, Ramesh|
|School:||University of California, Irvine|
|Department:||Psychology - Ph.D.|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-B 75/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Biomedical engineering, Nanoscience, Psychology|
|Keywords:||Attention, Bci, Brain-computer interface, Eeg, Electroencephalography, Ssvep|
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