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Gamma band modulations in neural activity have been proposed to mediate attentional processes. To support a causal link between gamma activity and attentional selection, we attempt to evoke gamma oscillations by a 50-Hz subliminal flicker. We find that a subliminal 50-Hz flicker at a target location, before target presentation, speeds up and enhances target detection and discrimination. This effect is specific to the middle of the gamma range because it is not evident at <35-Hz flicker. It requires 300 ms to build up, dissipates within 250 ms of flicker offset, and shows a tendency to invert after 500 ms. The results are discussed in relation to a role for gamma band neural synchrony in the allocation of visual attention.

Original publication

DOI

10.1073/pnas.0810496106

Type

Journal article

Journal

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

Publication Date

03/02/2009

Volume

106

Pages

1666 - 1671

Keywords

Awareness, Flicker Fusion, Humans, Vision, Ocular