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The Pulvinar Regulates Information Transmission Between Cortical Areas Based on Attention Demands

Author(s): Saalmann, Yuri B.; Pinsk, Mark A.; Wang, Liang; Li, Xin; Kastner, Sabine

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Abstract: Selective attention mechanisms route behaviorally relevant information through large-scale cortical networks. While evidence suggests that populations of cortical neurons synchronize their activity to preferentially transmit information about attentional priorities, it is unclear how cortical synchrony across a network is accomplished. Based on its anatomical connectivity with the cortex, we hypothesized that the pulvinar, a thalamic nucleus, regulates cortical synchrony. We mapped pulvino-cortical networks within the visual system using diffusion tensor imaging and simultaneously recorded spikes and field potentials from these interconnected network sites in monkeys performing a visuo-spatial attention task. The pulvinar synchronized activity between interconnected cortical areas according to attentional allocation, suggesting not only a critical role for the thalamus in attentional selection, but more generally in regulating information transmission across visual cortex.
Publication Date: 10-Aug-2012
Electronic Publication Date: 9-Aug-2012
Citation: Saalmann, YB, Pinsk, MA, Wang, L, Li, X, Kastner, S. (2012). The Pulvinar Regulates Information Transmission Between Cortical Areas Based on Attention Demands. Science, 337 (6095), 753 - 756. doi:10.1126/science.1223082
DOI: doi:10.1126/science.1223082
ISSN: 0036-8075
EISSN: 1095-9203
Pages: 753 - 756
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Science
Version: Author's manuscript

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