Cognitive Neurodynamics

, Volume 9, Issue 5, pp 509–522 | Cite as

Evaluation of local field potential signals in decoding of visual attention

  • Zahra Seif
  • Mohammad Reza DaliriEmail author
Research Article


In the field of brain research, attention as one of the main issues in cognitive neuroscience is an important mechanism to be studied. The complicated structure of the brain cannot process all the information it receives at any moment. Attention, in fact, is considered as a possible useful mechanism in which brain concentrates on the processing of important information which is required at any certain moment. The main goal of this study is decoding the location of visual attention from local field potential signals recorded from medial temporal (MT) area of a macaque monkey. To this end, feature extraction and feature selection are applied in both the time and the frequency domains. After applying feature extraction methods such as the short time Fourier transform, continuous wavelet transform (CWT), and wavelet energy (scalogram), feature selection methods are evaluated. Feature selection methods used here are T-test, Entropy, receiver operating characteristic, and Bhattacharyya. Subsequently, different classifiers are utilized in order to decode the location of visual attention. At last, the performances of the employed classifiers are compared. The results show that the maximum information about the visual attention in area MT exists in the low frequency features. Interestingly, low frequency features over all the time-axis and all of the frequency features at the initial time interval in the spectrogram domain contain the most valuable information related to the decoding of spatial attention. In the CWT and scalogram domains, this information exists in the low frequency features at the initial time interval. Furthermore, high performances are obtained for these features in both the time and the frequency domains. Among different employed classifiers, the best achieved performance which is about 84.5 % belongs to the K-nearest neighbor classifier combined with the T-test method for feature selection in the time domain. Additionally, the best achieved result (82.9 %) is related to the spectrogram with the least number of selected features as large as 200 features using the T-test method and SVM classifier in the time−frequency domain.


Local field potential Decoding of visual attention Extracellular recording Feature extraction and feature selection 



We would like to thank Prof. Stefan Treue for providing the infrastructure, intellectual and financial support for recording the data.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biomedical Engineering Department, Faculty of Electrical EngineeringIran University of Science and Technology (IUST)TehranIran
  2. 2.School of Cognitive Sciences (SCS)Institute for Research in Fundamental Science (IPM)TehranIran
  3. 3.Cognitive Neuroscience LaboratoryGerman Primate Center (DPZ)GöttingenGermany

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