Invariant visual responses from attentional gain fields

J Neurophysiol. 1997 Jun;77(6):3267-72. doi: 10.1152/jn.1997.77.6.3267.


Inferotemporal (IT) neurons exhibit a substantial degree of invariance with respect to translation of images used as visual stimuli. Through theoretical and computer-modeling methods, we show how translation-invariant receptive fields, like those of IT neurons, can be generated from the responses of V4 neurons if the effects of attention are taken into account. The model incorporates a recently reported form of attention-dependent gain modulation in V4 and produces IT receptive fields that shift so they are centered at the point where attention is directed. Receptive fields of variable, attention-controlled spatial scale are obtained when the mechanism is extended to scale-dependent attentional gain fields. The results indicate that gain modulation may play analogous roles in the dorsal and ventral visual pathways, generating transformations from retinal coordinates to body- and object-centered systems, respectively.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Evoked Potentials, Visual / physiology
  • Form Perception / physiology*
  • Haplorhini
  • Humans
  • Models, Neurological
  • Neural Networks, Computer*
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Orientation / physiology*
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology
  • Retina / physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology*
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*
  • Visual Fields / physiology
  • Visual Pathways / physiology