Brain Research. Cognitive Brain Research vol:22 issue:1 pages:13-25
Early perceptual grouping was studied using 256-channels event-related potentials in a choice response task. The task involved the detection of a triangle configuration of Gabor patches among patches of different spatial frequencies. The influence of two task-irrelevant factors was compared. One was the spatial proximity relation between the target patches and the other their relative orientation, a non-spatial relationship. Non-spatial effects were predominant in early peaks N64 and P100 in the occipital areas, and were reduced in size for later peaks. Spatial effects started from N180 in the occipital areas and continued in P250 and P430 in the central areas, increasing in size with time. These findings constitute a case of reversal of the usual order of spatial and non-spatial feature processing, illustrating that the flexibility in the early visual system may be greater than previously assumed.