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Neuron. 2006 Jun 1;50(5):791-8.

Changes in visual receptive fields with microstimulation of frontal cortex.

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Department of Neurobiology, Stanford University School of Medicine, California 94305, USA.


The influence of attention on visual cortical neurons has been described in terms of its effect on the structure of receptive fields (RFs), where multiple stimuli compete to drive neural responses and ultimately behavior. We stimulated the frontal eye field (FEF) of passively fixating monkeys and produced changes in V4 responses similar to known effects of voluntary attention. Subthreshold FEF stimulation enhanced visual responses at particular locations within the RF and altered the interaction between pairs of RF stimuli to favor those aligned with the activated FEF site. Thus, we could influence which stimulus drove the responses of individual V4 neurons. These results suggest that spatial signals involved in saccade preparation are used to covertly select among multiple stimuli appearing within the RFs of visual cortical neurons.

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