Lateralized power spectra of the EEG to index visuospatial attention, visual short term memory, nociceptive spatial attention, changes in spatial attention due to a mindfulness based stress reduction training, and variations in spatial attention due to different cue validities.
In 2013, Van der Lubbe and Utzerath proposed an extension of a lateralization index of the raw EEG introduced by Thut et al. (2006). The general idea of the method is to isolate relevant from irrelevant brain activity by taking advantage of the fact that many processes are lateralized. General hemispherical differences may confound a single contralateral minus ipsilateral subtraction while application of a double subtraction procedure circumvents this problem. The lateralized readiness potential and the posterior contralateral negativity are based on the same principle, however, these measures are derived from event related potentials, which implies that activity that is not phase-locked to stimulus onset is cancelled out. By determining the lateralized power in various frequency bands it can be determined whether these frequencies depend on lateralized processes. Van der Lubbe and Utzerath (2013) determined the so-called lateralized power spectra (LPS) in a visual endogenous orienting paradigm where a cue signals the to be attended side where subsequently a target may appear. They observed increased ipsilateral vs. contralateral activity in the theta, alpha and beta bands above occipital and parietal sites in the cue-target interval. Van der Lubbe et al. (2014) used the same method to contrast external spatial attention with internal spatial attention (i.e., the selection of information from visual short term memory). In this study it was revealed that there are strong similarities in lateralized activity in both the theta and the alpha bands. The LPS procedure was also applied when participants had to focus their attention on their left or right hands where a nociceptive stimulus might appear. In this case, the LPS index showed a shift from an initial occipital to a more centro-parietal focus in the cue-target interval. The method was also applied on data of participants that participated in a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) training. Results indicated that participants displayed increased lateralized power in the alpha band after participating in the training. In a very recent study, we examined whether the LPS procedure is also sensitive to different predictabilities of spatial cues, and as expected, findings supported the idea that attention was deployed more efficiently in the case of higher cue validity. Currently, the method is also applied to index motor preparation, and motor imagery.
- Thut, G., Nietzel, A., Brandt, S.A., & Pascual-Leone, A. (2006). Alpha-band electroencephalographic activity over occipital cortex indexes visuospatial attention bias and predicts visual target detection. The Journal of Neuroscience, 26, 9494-9502.
- Van der Lubbe, R.H.J., & Utzerath, C. (2013). Lateralized power spectra of the EEG as an index of visuospatial attention. Advances in Cognitive Psychology, 9, 184-201.
- Van der Lubbe, R.H.J., Bundt, C., & Abrahamse, E.L. (2014). Internal and external spatial attention examined with lateralized EEG power spectra. Brain Research, 1583, 179-192.
H-index: 20 (Scopus, May 2015)
UT Research Information System
- Cognitive Psychology (part module 3)
- Vigilance (part module 6)
- Consciousness (finished 2015)
- Bachelorthesis HFE (cognitive psychology / psychophysiology)
- Masterthesis HFE (cognitive psychology / psychophysiology)
- Internship HFE