A Source for Feature-Based Attention in the Prefrontal Cortex
Author(s)Bichot, Narcisse Pascal; Heard, Matthew Thomas; DeGennaro, Ellen; Desimone, Robert
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In cluttered scenes, we can use feature-based attention to quickly locate a target object. To understand how feature attention is used to find and select objects for action, we focused on the ventral prearcuate (VPA) region of prefrontal cortex. In a visual search task, VPA cells responded selectively to search cues, maintained their feature selectivity throughout the delay and subsequent saccades, and discriminated the search target in their receptive fields with a time course earlier than in FEF or IT cortex. Inactivation of VPA impaired the animals' ability to find targets, and simultaneous recordings in FEF revealed that the effects of feature attention were eliminated while leaving the effects of spatial attention in FEF intact. Altogether, the results suggest that VPA neurons compute the locations of objects with the features sought and send this information to FEF to guide eye movements to those relevant stimuli.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences; McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT
Bichot, Narcisse P. et al. “A Source for Feature-Based Attention in the Prefrontal Cortex.” Neuron 88, 4 (November 2015): 832–844 © 2015 Elsevier
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