SciCombinator

Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

D Kaping, M Vinck, RM Hutchison, S Everling and T Womelsdorf
Abstract
Attentional control ensures that neuronal processes prioritize the most relevant stimulus in a given environment. Controlling which stimulus is attended thus originates from neurons encoding the relevance of stimuli, i.e. their expected value, in hand with neurons encoding contextual information about stimulus locations, features, and rules that guide the conditional allocation of attention. Here, we examined how these distinct processes are encoded and integrated in macaque prefrontal cortex (PFC) by mapping their functional topographies at the time of attentional stimulus selection. We find confined clusters of neurons in ventromedial PFC (vmPFC) that predominantly convey stimulus valuation information during attention shifts. These valuation signals were topographically largely separated from neurons predicting the stimulus location to which attention covertly shifted, and which were evident across the complete medial-to-lateral extent of the PFC, encompassing anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), and lateral PFC (LPFC). LPFC responses showed particularly early-onset selectivity and primarily facilitated attention shifts to contralateral targets. Spatial selectivity within ACC was delayed and heterogeneous, with similar proportions of facilitated and suppressed responses during contralateral attention shifts. The integration of spatial and valuation signals about attentional target stimuli was observed in a confined cluster of neurons at the intersection of vmPFC, ACC, and LPFC. These results suggest that valuation processes reflecting stimulus-specific outcome predictions are recruited during covert attentional control. Value predictions and the spatial identification of attentional targets were conveyed by largely separate neuronal populations, but were integrated locally at the intersection of three major prefrontal areas, which may constitute a functional hub within the larger attentional control network.
Tweets*
3
Facebook likes*
0
Reddit*
0
News coverage*
0
Blogs*
0
SC clicks
4
Concepts
Attention versus memory in prefrontal cortex, Cingulate cortex, Prefrontal cortex, Anterior cingulate cortex, Limbic system, Brodmann area 24, Brain, Cerebrum
MeSH headings
Analysis of Variance, Animals, Attention, Discrimination (Psychology), Gyrus Cinguli, Macaca, Male, Models, Statistical, Photic Stimulation, Prefrontal Cortex, Reward, Time Factors
comments powered by Disqus

* Data courtesy of Altmetric.com