Fabrice Arcizet

15 avril 2016

Eye Movements & Visual Selection Section (Krauzlis Lab), NIH, NEI, Bethesda, MD, USA

Cortical and subcortical neuronal correlates to spatial attention

invité par Paul Apicella


Spatial attention is commonly described as important for managing the limited resources available in sensory areas of the neocortex. In this talk, I will present data from cortex and basal ganglia demonstrating that mechanisms downstream of sensory processing could be involved in control of attention. First, we tested neuronal activity in cortical areas LIP and V4 when animals were required to divide their attention among multiple items in a display. We found that neuronal responses in LIP showed correlates of attention, but sensory area V4 did not, suggesting that mechanisms downstream from cortical sensory areas are also involved in the control of attention. Second, we investigated how neuronal activity in the caudate nucleus, one of the major input structures of the basal ganglia, is modulated by different task events during the performance of a change detection task. Neurons in the caudate nucleus also exhibited correlates of attention – their activity was related to factors such as cue location and response choice. In addition, the activity of many caudate neurons was selective for particular combinations of sensory events and motor responses, consistent with establishing a link between sensory signals and action selection. Together, these results illustrate that the mechanisms for spatial attention are not restricted to cortical areas, but also include circuits centered on the basal ganglia linking evaluation of sensory information and motor decisions.

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