Neural Basis of Unconscious Attentional Processing in Hemianopic Patient

Dr. Javier Sánchez López

Resumen

The relation between visual attention and visual awareness has been a topic of interest in the field of cognitive neurosciences. Some previous studies have disentangled this relation by studying the visual attention to unseen stimuli in healthy participants and blindsight patients suggesting the existence of dissociation between these two processes. However, to our knowledge no studies have investigated the neural mechanisms of visual attention without awareness. Therefore, here we will discuss the last findings regarding these mechanisms. In a first study we monitored with steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs) the neurophysiological correlates of endogenous spatial attention to unseen stimuli presented to the blind field of hemianopic patients. The results provided evidence that the neural correlates of spatial attention are present regardless of visual awareness and this is in accord with the general hypothesis of a possible dissociation between attention and awareness. In a second study we investigated the behavioral and neurophysiological correlates of visual orientation to unseen stimuli presented to the blind hemifield of hemianopic patients, and the existence of hemispheric differences for this kind of unconscious attention. Results confirmed (behaviorally) and extend to neurophysiological mechanisms the existence of unconscious visual orienting and are in keeping with a right hemisphere dominance for unconscious as well as conscious attention.

Department of Neuroscience, Biomedicine and Movements Sciences, University of Verona.
Supported by ERC-2013-ADG “Perceptual Awareness” Grant number 339939.

Reseña

Es Licenciado en Psicología por la Universidad Veracruzana, Maestro en Psicología Aplicada en el Área del Deporte por la Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán y Doctor en Psicología en la Residencia de Neurociencias de la Conducta por la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Realizó estancias de investigación en el campo de la Psicofisiología en la University of California San Diego and University of Rome “Foro Italico”. Llevó a cabo una Estancia Postdoctoral del 2014 al 2019 en la University of Verona en Italia formando parte de un proyecto financiado por la European Research Council sobre el estudio de la Conciencia Perceptiva y la Reorganización Cerebral. Actualmente es PITC asociado C del CINCCO.

Centro de Investigación en Ciencias Cognitivas

Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos

Av. Universidad 1001, Col. Chamilpa, Cuernavaca, Morelos, C.P. 62209

Tel. (777) 3 29 7000 ext. 2240 y 3753

extensioncincco@uaem.mx

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