Recent EEG studies have investigated basic principles of feature-based attention by means of frequency-tagged random dot kinematograms in which different colors are simultaneously presented at different temporal frequencies to elicit steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs). These experiments consistently showed global facilitation of the to-be-attended random dot kinematogram—a basic principle of feature-based attention. SSVEP source estimation suggested that posterior visual cortex from V1 to area hMT+/V5 is broadly activated by frequency-tagged stimuli. What is presently unknown is whether the feature-based attentional facilitation of SSVEPs is a rather unspecific neural response including all visual areas that follow the “on/off,” or whether SSVEP feature-based amplitude enhancements are driven by activity in visual areas most sensitive to a specific feature, such as V4v in the case of color. Here, we leverage multimodal SSVEP-fMRI recordings in human participants and a multidimensional feature-based attention paradigm to investigate this question. Attending to shape produced significantly greater SSVEP-BOLD covariation in primary visual cortex compared with color. SSVEP-BOLD covariation during color selection increased along the visual hierarchy, with greatest values in areas V3 and V4. Importantly, in area hMT+/V5, we found no differences between shape and color selection. Results suggest that SSVEP amplitude enhancements in feature-based attention is not an unspecific enhancement of neural activity in all visual areas following the “on/off.” These findings open new avenues to investigating neural dynamics of competitive interactions in specific visual areas sensitive to a certain feature in a more economical way and better temporal resolution compared with fMRI.

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