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Attention modulates synchronized neuronal firing in primate somatosensory cortex

Steinmetz, Peter N. and Roy, A. and Fitzgerald, P. J. and Hsiao, S. S. and Johnson, K. O. and Niebur, Ernst (2000) Attention modulates synchronized neuronal firing in primate somatosensory cortex. Nature, 404 (6774). p. 187. ISSN 0028-0836. doi:10.1038/35004588.

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A potentially powerful information processing strategy in the brain is to take advantage of the temporal structure of neuronal spike trains. An increase in synchrony within the neural representation of an object or location increases the efficacy of that neural representation at the next synaptic stage in the brain; thus, increasing synchrony is a candidate for the neural correlate of attentional selection. We investigated the synchronous firing of pairs of neurons in the secondary somatosensory cortex (SII) of three monkeys trained to switch attention between a visual task and a tactile discrimination task. We found that most neuron pairs in SII cortex fired synchronously and, furthermore, that the degree of synchrony was affected by the monkey's attentional state. In the monkey performing the most difficult task, 35% of neuron pairs that fired synchronously changed their degree of synchrony when the monkey switched attention between the tactile and visual tasks. Synchrony increased in 80% and decreased in 20% of neuron pairs affected by attention.

Item Type:Article
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Roy, A.0000-0001-8127-5775
Additional Information:© 2000 Macmillan Magazines Ltd. Received 8 November; accepted 27 December 1999. This work was supported by the NIH, the NSF and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. We thank J. DiCarlo, M. Usher and S. Yantis for discussions and J. Lane for technical support.
Group:Koch Laboratory (KLAB)
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Alfred P. Sloan FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:6774
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130816-103229336
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:40519
Deposited By: KLAB Import
Deposited On:11 Jan 2008 22:41
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:49

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