Attentional stimulus selection through selective synchronization between monkey visual areas

Neuron. 2012 Sep 6;75(5):875-88. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2012.06.037.


A central motif in neuronal networks is convergence, linking several input neurons to one target neuron. In visual cortex, convergence renders target neurons responsive to complex stimuli. Yet, convergence typically sends multiple stimuli to a target, and the behaviorally relevant stimulus must be selected. We used two stimuli, activating separate electrocorticographic V1 sites, and both activating an electrocorticographic V4 site equally strongly. When one of those stimuli activated one V1 site, it gamma synchronized (60-80 Hz) to V4. When the two stimuli activated two V1 sites, primarily the relevant one gamma synchronized to V4. Frequency bands of gamma activities showed substantial overlap containing the band of interareal coherence. The relevant V1 site had its gamma peak frequency 2-3 Hz higher than the irrelevant V1 site and 4-6 Hz higher than V4. Gamma-mediated interareal influences were predominantly directed from V1 to V4. We propose that selective synchronization renders relevant input effective, thereby modulating effective connectivity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping / methods
  • Cortical Synchronization / physiology*
  • Electric Stimulation / methods
  • Macaca
  • Visual Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*
  • Visual Pathways / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*