Feature-selective attention enhances color signals in early visual areas of the human brain

M M Müller, S Andersen, N J Trujillo, P Valdés-Sosa, P Malinowski, S A Hillyard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

222 Citations (Scopus)


We used an electrophysiological measure of selective stimulus processing (the steady-state visual evoked potential, SSVEP) to investigate feature-specific attention to color cues. Subjects viewed a display consisting of spatially intermingled red and blue dots that continually shifted their positions at random. The red and blue dots flickered at different frequencies and thereby elicited distinguishable SSVEP signals in the visual cortex. Paying attention selectively to either the red or blue dot population produced an enhanced amplitude of its frequency-tagged SSVEP, which was localized by source modeling to early levels of the visual cortex. A control experiment showed that this selection was based on color rather than flicker frequency cues. This signal amplification of attended color items provides an empirical basis for the rapid identification of feature conjunctions during visual search, as proposed by "guided search" models.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14250-4
Number of pages5
Issue number38
Publication statusPublished - 2006


Dive into the research topics of 'Feature-selective attention enhances color signals in early visual areas of the human brain'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this