|Evidence for an attentional priority map in inferotemporal cortex
|Year of Publication
|Stemmann, H, Freiwald, WA
|Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
|23797 - 23805
From incoming sensory information, our brains make selections according to current behavioral goals. This process, selective attention, is controlled by parietal and frontal areas. Here, we show that another brain area, posterior inferotemporal cortex (PITd), also exhibits the defining properties of attentional control. We discovered this area with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during an attentive motion discrimination task. Single-cell recordings from PITd revealed strong attentional modulation across 3 attention tasks yet no tuning to task-relevant stimulus features, like motion direction or color. Instead, PITd neurons closely tracked the subject’s attention state and predicted upcoming errors of attentional selection. Furthermore, artificial electrical PITd stimulation controlled the location of attentional selection without altering feature discrimination. These are the defining properties of a feature-blind priority map encoding the locus of attention. Together, these results suggest area PITd, located strategically to gather information about object properties, as an attentional priority map.
|Proc Natl Acad Sci USA
- CBMM Related