Spatial specificity of alpha oscillations in the human visual system

Tzvetan Popov, Bart Gips, Sabine Kastner, Ole Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Alpha oscillations are strongly modulated by spatial attention. To what extent, the generators of cortical alpha oscillations are spatially distributed and have selectivity that can be related to retinotopic organization is a matter of continuous scientific debate. In the present report, neuromagnetic activity was quantified by means of spatial location tuning functions from 30 participants engaged in a visuospatial attention task. A cue presented briefly in one of 16 locations directing covert spatial attention resulted in a robust modulation of posterior alpha oscillations. The distribution of the alpha sources approximated the retinotopic organization of the human visual system known from hemodynamic studies. Better performance in terms of target identification was associated with a more spatially constrained alpha modulation. The present findings demonstrate that the generators of posterior alpha oscillations are retinotopically organized when modulated by spatial attention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4432-4440
Number of pages9
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Issue number15
StatePublished - Oct 15 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Anatomy


  • alpha oscillations
  • forward encoding modeling
  • magnetoencephalography
  • retinotopy


Dive into the research topics of 'Spatial specificity of alpha oscillations in the human visual system'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this