Laminar Organization of Attentional Modulation in Macaque Visual Area V4

Neuron. 2017 Jan 4;93(1):235-246. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2016.11.029. Epub 2016 Dec 15.


Attention is critical to perception, serving to select behaviorally relevant information for privileged processing. To understand the neural mechanisms of attention, we must discern how attentional modulation varies by cell type and across cortical layers. Here, we test whether attention acts non-selectively across cortical layers or whether it engages the laminar circuit in specific and selective ways. We find layer- and cell-class-specific differences in several different forms of attentional modulation in area V4. Broad-spiking neurons in the superficial layers exhibit attention-mediated increases in firing rate and decreases in variability. Spike count correlations are highest in the input layer and attention serves to reduce these correlations. Superficial and input layer neurons exhibit attention-dependent decreases in low-frequency (<10 Hz) coherence, but deep layer neurons exhibit increases in coherence in the beta and gamma frequency ranges. Our study provides a template for attention-mediated laminar information processing that might be applicable across sensory modalities.

Keywords: area V4; attention; laminar circuit.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Brain Waves / physiology*
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Visual Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*