IMR Press / JIN / Volume 17 / Issue 3 / DOI: 10.31083/JIN-170058
Open Access Research article
Neural activation patterns and connectivity in visual attention during number and non-number processing: An ERP study using Ishihara pseudoisochromatic plates
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1 Department of Neuroscience, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia
2 Department of Neuroscience, College of Medicine, King Faisal University, 31982 Hofuf, Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia
4 Division of Neurology, Faculty Of Medicine, Universiti Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
5 Division of Neurology, MEG Center, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, 3333 Burnet Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45220, USA
*Correspondence:, (Faruque Reza)
J. Integr. Neurosci. 2018, 17(3), 257–270;
Submitted: 22 August 2017 | Accepted: 17 October 2017 | Published: 15 August 2018

Visual cognitive function is important in the construction of executive function in daily life. Perception of visual number form (e.g. Arabic digits) and numerosity (numeric magnitude) is of interest to cognitive neuroscientists. Neural correlates and the functional measurement of number representations are complex events when their semantic categories are assimilated together with concepts of shape and color. Color perception can be processed further to modulate visual cognition. The Ishihara pseudoisochromatic plates are one of the best and most common screening tools for basic red-green color vision testing. However, there has been little study of visual cognitive function assessment using such pseudoisochromatic plates. 25 healthy normal trichromat volunteers were recruited and studied using a 128-sensor net to record event-related electroencephalogram. Subjects were asked to respond by pressing numbered buttons when they saw the number and non-number plates of the Ishihara color vision test. Amplitudes and latencies of N100 and P300 event related potential components were analyzed from 19 electrode sites in the international 10-20 system. A brain topographic map, cortical activation patterns, and Granger causation (effective connectivity) were analyzed from 128 electrode sites. No significant differences between N100 event related potential components for either stimulus indicates early selective attention processing was similar for number and non-number plate stimuli, but non-number plate stimuli evoked significantly higher amplitudes, longer latencies of the P300 event related potential component with a slower reaction time compared to number plate stimuli imply the allocation of attentional load was more in non-number plate processing. A different pattern of the asymmetric scalp voltage map was noticed for P300 components with a higher intensity in the left hemisphere for number plate tasks and higher intensity in the right hemisphere for non-number plate tasks. Asymmetric cortical activation and connectivity patterns revealed that number recognition occurred in the occipital and left frontal areas where as the consequence was limited to the occipital area during the non-number plate processing. Finally, results demonstrated that the visual recognition of numbers dissociates from the recognition of non-numbers at the level of defined neural networks. Number recognition was not only a process of visual perception and attention, but was also related to a higher level of cognitive function, that of language.

Visual number recognition
event related potential
pseudoisochromatic plates
N100 and P300 event
effective connectivity
Fig. 1.
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