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Curr Biol. 2018 Aug 6;28(15):2377-2387.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.05.086. Epub 2018 Jul 12.

Theta Rhythmic Neuronal Activity and Reaction Times Arising from Cortical Receptive Field Interactions during Distributed Attention.

Author information

1
Ernst Strüngmann Institute (ESI) for Neuroscience in Cooperation with the Max Planck Society, Deutschordenstraße 46, 60528 Frankfurt a.M., Germany; Epilepsy Center Frankfurt Rhine-Main, Center of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Goethe University, Schleusenweg 2-16, 60528 Frankfurt a.M., Germany; Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, Framlington Place, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4HH, UK.
2
Ernst Strüngmann Institute (ESI) for Neuroscience in Cooperation with the Max Planck Society, Deutschordenstraße 46, 60528 Frankfurt a.M., Germany.
3
Laboratory of Neuropsychology, NIMH, 49 Convent Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.
4
Ernst Strüngmann Institute (ESI) for Neuroscience in Cooperation with the Max Planck Society, Deutschordenstraße 46, 60528 Frankfurt a.M., Germany; Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, Framlington Place, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4HH, UK. Electronic address: michael.schmid@ncl.ac.uk.

Abstract

Growing evidence suggests that distributed spatial attention may invoke theta (3-9 Hz) rhythmic sampling processes. The neuronal basis of such attentional sampling is, however, not fully understood. Here we show using array recordings in visual cortical area V4 of two awake macaques that presenting separate visual stimuli to the excitatory center and suppressive surround of neuronal receptive fields (RFs) elicits rhythmic multi-unit activity (MUA) at 3-6 Hz. This neuronal rhythm did not depend on small fixational eye movements. In the context of a distributed spatial attention task, during which the monkeys detected a spatially and temporally uncertain target, reaction times (RTs) exhibited similar rhythmic fluctuations. RTs were fast or slow depending on the target occurrence during high or low MUA, resulting in rhythmic MUA-RT cross-correlations at theta frequencies. These findings show that theta rhythmic neuronal activity can arise from competitive RF interactions and that this rhythm may result in rhythmic RTs potentially subserving attentional sampling.

KEYWORDS:

V4; attention; microsaccades; monkey; neurophysiology; oscillations; rhythm; vision; visual cortex

PMID:
30017481
PMCID:
PMC6089835
DOI:
10.1016/j.cub.2018.05.086
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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