Electrophysiological correlates of synchronous neural activity and attention: a short review

Biosystems. Oct-Dec 2002;67(1-3):157-66. doi: 10.1016/s0303-2647(02)00102-8.


Attentional selection implies preferential treatment of some sensory stimuli over others. This requires differential representation of attended and unattended stimuli. Most previous research has focused on pure rate codes for this representation but recent evidence indicates that a mixed code, involving both mean firing rate and temporal codes, may be employed. Of particular interest is a distinction of attended from unattended stimuli based on synchrony within neural populations. I review electrophysiological evidence at macroscopic, mesoscopic and microscopic spatial scales showing that the degree of synchronous activity varies with the attentional state of the perceiving organism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Cortical Synchronization / methods*
  • Electrophysiology
  • Humans
  • Neurons / physiology*