Selective attention to sound features mediates cross-modal activation of visual cortices

Retsa, Chrysa (University Hospital Center and University of Lausanne, Switzerland) ; Matusz, Pawel J. (University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland (HES-SO Valais-Wallis) ; University Hospital Center and University of Lausanne, Switzerland ; Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA) ; Schnupp, Jan W. H. (City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong ; University of Oxford, UK) ; Murray, Micah M. (University Hospital Center and University of Lausanne, Switzerland ; Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA ; University of Lausanne, Fondation Asile des Aveugles, Switzerland)

Contemporary schemas of brain organization now include multisensory processes both in low-level cortices as well as at early stages of stimulus processing. Evidence has also accumulated showing that unisensory stimulus processing can result in cross-modal effects. For example, task-irrelevant and lateralised sounds can activate visual cortices; a phenomenon referred to as the auditory-evoked contralateral occipital positivity (ACOP). Some claim this is an example of automatic attentional capture in visual cortices. Other results, however, indicate that context may play a determinant role. Here, we investigated whether selective attention to spatial features of sounds is a determining factor in eliciting the ACOP. We recorded high-density auditory evoked potentials (AEPs) while participants selectively attended and discriminated sounds according to four possible stimulus attributes: location, pitch, speaker identity or syllable. Sound acoustics were held constant, and their location was always equiprobable (50% left, 50% right). The only manipulation was to which sound dimension participants attended. We analysed the AEP data from healthy participants within an electrical neuroimaging framework. The presence of sound-elicited activations of visual cortices depended on the to-be-discriminated, goal-based dimension. The ACOP was elicited only when participants were required to discriminate sound location, but not when they attended to any of the non-spatial features. These results provide a further indication that the ACOP is not automatic. Moreover, our findings showcase the interplay between task-relevance and spatial (un)predictability in determining the presence of the cross-modal activation of visual cortices.


Keywords:
Article Type:
scientifique
Faculty:
Economie et Services
School:
HEG-VS
Institute:
Institut Informatique de gestion
Subject(s):
Informatique
Date:
2020-07
Pagination:
10 p.
Published in:
Neuropsychologia
Numeration (vol. no.):
2020, vol. 144, article 107498, pp. 1-10
DOI:
ISSN:
0028-3932
Appears in Collection:

Note: The file is under embargo until: 2022-01-01


 Record created 2020-11-24, last modified 2020-11-26

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