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An oscillation-based model for the neuronal basis of attention

Niebur, Ernst and Koch, Christof and Rosin, Christopher (1993) An oscillation-based model for the neuronal basis of attention. Vision Research, 33 (18). pp. 2789-802. ISSN 0042-6989.

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We propose a model for the neuronal implementation of selective visual attention based on the temporal structure of neuronal activity. In particular, we set out to explain the electrophysiological data from areas V4 and IT in monkey cortex of Moran and Desimone [(1985)Science, 229, 782–784] using the “temporal tagging” hypothesis of Crick and Koch, 1990a and Crick and Koch, 1990bSeminars in the neurosciences (pp. 1–36)]. Neurons in primary visual cortex respond to visual stimuli with a Poisson distributed spike train with an appropriate, stimulus-dependent mean firing rate. The firing rate of neurons whose receptive fields overlap with the “focus of attention” is modulated with a periodic function in the 40 Hz range, such that their mean firing rate is identical to the mean firing rate of neurons in “non-attended” areas. This modulation is detected by inhibitory interneurons in V4 and is used to suppress the response of V4 cells associated with non-attended visual stimuli. Using very simple single-cell models, we obtain quantitative agreement with Moran and Desimone's (1985) experiments.

Item Type:Article
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Koch, Christof0000-0001-6482-8067
Additional Information:Received 16 November 1992; in revised form 29 March 1993. c1993 Pergamon Press Ltd. This work was supported by the Office of Naval Research, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the National Science Foundation, and the James S. McDonnell Foundation. The authors wish to acknowledge the Advanced Computing Laboratory of Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545. Some of the numerical work was performed on computing resources located at this facility. We thank Francis Crick for helpful discussions, Bob Desimone for providing us with parts of Figs 5 and 6, Wyeth Bair for writing the routines for the spectral analysis, and Marius Usher for a critical reading of the manuscript.
Group:Koch Laboratory (KLAB)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
U.S. Office of Naval ResearchUNSPECIFIED
U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific ResearchUNSPECIFIED
James S. McDonnell FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Focal attention; 40 Hz oscillations; Temporal structure of neural signals; Extrastriate cortex; Monkey; Computer modeling
Issue or Number:18
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130816-103218577
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Official Citation:Ernst Niebur, Christof Koch, Christopher Rosin, An oscillation-based model for the neuronal basis of attention, Vision Research, Volume 33, Issue 18, December 1993, Pages 2789-2802, ISSN 0042-6989, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:40485
Deposited By: KLAB Import
Deposited On:11 Jan 2008 01:43
Last Modified:03 Mar 2020 13:01

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