Repeated Contextual Search Cues Lead to Reduced BOLD-Onset Times in Early Visual and Left Inferior Frontal Cortex

Stefan Pollmann*, 1, 2, Angela A Manginelli1
1 Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Magdeburg
2 Center for Behavioral Brain Sciences, Magdeburg, Germany

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© Pollmann and Manginelli; Licensee Bentham Open

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Otto-von-Guericke-Universität, Institut für Psychologie II, Postfach 4120, D-39016 Magdeburg, Germany; Tel: ++49-391-6718474; Fax: ++49-391-6711401; E-mail:


Repetition of context can facilitate search for targets in distractor-filled displays. This contextual cueing goes along with enhanced event-related brain potentials in visual cortex, as previously demonstrated with depth electrodes in the human brain. However, modulation of the BOLD-response in striate and peristriate cortices has, to our knowledge, not yet been reported as a consequence of contextual cueing. Here, we report a selective reduction of the BOLD onset latency for repeated distractor configurations in these areas. In addition, the same onset latency reduction was observed in posterior inferior frontal cortex, a potential source area for feedback signals to early visual areas.

Keywords: Visual search, implicit learning, awareness, cueing, visual cortex, inferior frontal cortex.