Article thumbnail

Manipulation of Pre-Target Activity on the Right Frontal Eye Field Enhances Conscious Visual Perception in Humans

By Lorena Chanes, Ana B. Chica, Romain Quentin and Antoni Valero-Cabré


The right Frontal Eye Field (FEF) is a region of the human brain, which has been consistently involved in visuo-spatial attention and access to consciousness. Nonetheless, the extent of this cortical site’s ability to influence specific aspects of visual performance remains debated. We hereby manipulated pre-target activity on the right FEF and explored its influence on the detection and categorization of low-contrast near-threshold visual stimuli. Our data show that pre-target frontal neurostimulation has the potential when used alone to induce enhancements of conscious visual detection. More interestingly, when FEF stimulation was combined with visuo-spatial cues, improvements remained present only for trials in which the cue correctly predicted the location of the subsequent target. Our data provide evidence for the causal role of the right FEF pre-target activity in the modulation of human conscious vision and reveal the dependence of such neurostimulatory effects on the state of activity set up by cue validity in the dorsal attentional orienting network

Topics: Research Article
Publisher: Public Library of Science
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central

Suggested articles


  1. (2009). A
  2. (2005). Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation of prefrontal cortex enhances working memory.
  3. (1995). Are we aware of neural activity in primary visual cortex?
  4. (2004). Attention alters appearance.
  5. (1980). Attention and the detection of signals.
  6. (1998). Attention improves or impairs visual performance by enhancing spatial resolution.
  7. (2005). Attention to locations and features: different topdown modulation of detector weights.
  8. (2004). Attentional modulation of visual processing.
  9. (2008). Bottom-up dependent gating of frontal signals in early visual cortex.
  10. (2007). Brain dynamics underlying the nonlinear threshold for access to consciousness.
  11. (2010). Brain polarization of parietal cortex augments training-induced improvement of visual exploratory and attentional skills.
  12. (2008). Consensus: Can transcranial direct current stimulation and transcranial magnetic stimulation enhance motor learning and memory formation?
  13. (2001). Control of eye movements and spatial attention.
  14. (1971). Cowey A
  15. (2005). Detection theory: a user’s guide. London: Erlbaum Associates 2nd Edition.
  16. (2009). Disruption of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex facilitates the consolidation of procedural skills.
  17. (2008). Efficacy of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation/transcranial direct current stimulation in cognitive neurorehabilitation.
  18. (2007). Feature-based attention modulates orientation-selective responses in human visual cortex.
  19. (2009). Frontoparietal cortex controls spatial attention through modulation of anticipatory alpha rhythms.
  20. (2010). Improved discrimination of visual stimuli following repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation.
  21. (2011). Improved motion perception and impaired spatial suppression following disruption of cortical area MT/V5.
  22. (1996). Location and function of the human frontal eye-field: a selective review.
  23. (2007). Making the blindsighted see.
  24. (2007). Neural adaptation reveals state-dependent effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation.
  25. (1998). Neural correlates of perceptual rivalry in the human brain.
  26. (2007). Pascual-Leone A
  27. (2011). Role of prefrontal cortex in conscious visual perception.
  28. (2001). rTMS of the unaffected hemisphere transiently reduces contralesional visuospatial hemineglect.
  29. (2009). Selection and maintenance of spatial information by frontal eye field neurons.
  30. (2003). Selective gating of visual signals by microstimulation of frontal cortex.
  31. (1966). Signal detection theory and psychophysics.
  32. (2011). Spatial attention and conscious perception: the role of endogenous and exogenous orienting.
  33. (2008). State-dependency in brain stimulation studies of perception and cognition.
  34. (1999). The detection of visual signals by macaque frontal eye field during masking.
  35. (2008). The reorienting system of the human brain: from environment to theory of mind.
  36. (2005). Therapeutic trial of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation after acute ischemic stroke.
  37. (2001). Towards a cognitive neuroscience of consciousness: basic evidence and a workspace framework.
  38. (2008). Transcranial direct current stimulation improves recognition memory in Alzheimer disease.
  39. (2003). Transcranial magnetic stimulation of the human frontal eye field facilitates visual awareness.
  40. (2002). Transcranial magnetic stimulation of the human frontal eye field: effects on visual perception and attention.
  41. (1996). Transcranial magnetic stimulation of the human frontal eye field.
  42. (2011). Valero-Cabre A
  43. (2004). Visual awareness: the eye fields have it?

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.