Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization -- Department for Nonlinear Dynamics and Network Dynamics Group
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BCCN/BFNT AG-Seminar

Tuesday, 02.10.2012 17 c.t.

Selective signal routing during attention – the role of interareal synchronization

by Iris Grothe
from Center for Cognitive Science, Brain Research Institute, Bremen; Ernst Strüngmann Institute for Neuroscience in Cooperation with Max Planck Society, Frankfurt

Contact person: Demian Battaglia

Location

Ludwig Prandtl lecture hall

Abstract

Convergence of afferent inputs is one of the fundamental motifs in cortical wiring. As a result, a neuron receives synaptic input from several thousands of other neurons. To successfully process specific incoming information, a neuron needs to select relevant, while suppressing irrelevant signals. This general pattern becomes easily apparent in the visual areas where convergence of inputs results in areas like V4 having neurons with larger receptive fields (RFs) than earlier areas. In such large RFs multiple objects can be present, which then compete for being processed. A neuron thus needs to respond selectively to signals from a small subset of afferents carrying the signals representing the attended object. Furthermore, it requires flexibility in selecting a particular subset, since the position and properties of the attended stimulus and hence the composition of the subset of afferent inputs carrying the relevant signals can vary arbitrarily and quickly. A candidate mechanism which may fulfill these requirements is oscillatory gamma-band synchronization. Employing large-scale electrophysiological recordings in behaving macaque monkeys and theoretical modeling, our studies show that interareal gamma-band synchronization indeed underlies selective signal routing during attentional processing.

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