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Neuron. 2013 Nov 20;80(4):1077-89. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2013.08.019.

Attentional modulation of cell-class-specific gamma-band synchronization in awake monkey area v4.

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Ernst Strüngmann Institute (ESI) for Neuroscience in Cooperation with Max Planck Society, 60528 Frankfurt am Main, Germany; Donders Centre for Brain, Cognition, and Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen, 6525 EN Nijmegen, The Netherlands; Center for Neuroscience, Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences, University of Amsterdam, 1098 XH Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address:


Selective visual attention is subserved by selective neuronal synchronization, entailing precise orchestration among excitatory and inhibitory cells. We tentatively identified these as broad (BS) and narrow spiking (NS) cells and analyzed their synchronization to the local field potential in two macaque monkeys performing a selective visual attention task. Across cells, gamma phases scattered widely but were unaffected by stimulation or attention. During stimulation, NS cells lagged BS cells on average by ∼60° and gamma synchronized twice as strongly. Attention enhanced and reduced the gamma locking of strongly and weakly activated cells, respectively. During a prestimulus attentional cue period, BS cells showed weak gamma synchronization, while NS cells gamma-synchronized as strongly as with visual stimulation. These analyses reveal the cell-type-specific dynamics of the gamma cycle in macaque visual cortex and suggest that attention affects neurons differentially depending on cell type and activation level.

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