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Neuron. 2016 Jan 6;89(1):209-20. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.11.034.

Pulvinar-Cortex Interactions in Vision and Attention.

Author information

1
McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA; Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenzhen 518055, Guangdong, China. Electronic address: hh.zhou@siat.ac.cn.
2
McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.

Abstract

The ventro-lateral pulvinar is reciprocally connected with the visual areas of the ventral stream that are important for object recognition. To understand the mechanisms of attentive stimulus processing in this pulvinar-cortex loop, we investigated the interactions between the pulvinar, area V4, and IT cortex in a spatial-attention task. Sensory processing and the influence of attention in the pulvinar appeared to reflect its cortical inputs. However, pulvinar deactivation led to a reduction of attentional effects on firing rates and gamma synchrony in V4, a reduction of sensory-evoked responses and overall gamma coherence within V4, and severe behavioral deficits in the affected portion of the visual field. Conversely, pulvinar deactivation caused an increase in low-frequency cortical oscillations, often associated with inattention or sleep. Thus, cortical interactions with the ventro-lateral pulvinar are necessary for normal attention and sensory processing and for maintaining the cortex in an active state.

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PMID:
26748092
PMCID:
PMC4723640
DOI:
10.1016/j.neuron.2015.11.034
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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