In recent years, evidence from psychophysical, neuroimaging and neurophysiological studies has accumulated suggesting that basic visual perceptual and cognitive functions such as attention and working memory emerge from the reciprocal interaction of oculomotor signals and visual representations in cortex. Our previous work suggests that saccade-related signals involving the frontal eye field (FEF) contribute to the attentional selection of visual stimuli and to the attention-related filtering of visual signals in cortex. In the present proposal, we plan to further examine the influence of saccade-related signals on visual representations in a set of three complimentary aims. In the first aim, we will address an important implication of our previous studies, namely that the activity of FEF neurons is necessary and sufficient for driving spatial attention. We will test the role of FEF neurons and compare it directly to that of area LIP neurons, which are also believed to be critical for attention. This will be accomplished via pharmacologically induced activation and inactivation of neurons in one of the two areas (FEF or LIP) and a study of its effects on attentional performance and the attentional modulation of neurons in the other area (LIP or FEF). In the second aim, we will use voluntarily generated saccades to pursue the relationship between saccade target selection and neural correlates of attention in visual cortex. Specifically, we will study the influence of saccade preparation on neural correlates of bottom-up and feature-based attention in area V4. In the third aim, we will examine the role of the FEF in the selection and retention of visual information in working memory. Specifically, we will test the effects of FEF microstimulation on visual working memory and its correlates in inferior temporal (IT) cortex as well as record simultaneously from neurons in both areas during working memory performance. Together, these three aims will allow us to determine the extent to which saccade-related signals influence the selection and retention of visual representations in cortex and the relevance of those influences to visual perception cognition, and visually guided behavior. The questions addressed by the proposed research are central to an understanding of the neural basis of visually guided behavior, and thus achieving those goals will have direct and important implications for the neural bases and the treatment of disorders of visuomotor integration, perception and cognition. Key examples of such disorders include attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and dyslexia, both of which appear to include deficits in oculomotor control. The proposed research is particularly relevant to ADHD, which afflicts more than five percent of children in the U.S., making it one of the most common mental disorders to affect children. Thus an understanding of the neural basis of visual attention clearly has important implications for human health.

Public Health Relevance

The goals of the proposed research are central to an understanding of the neural basis of visually guided behavior, and thus achieving those goals will have direct and important implications for the neural bases and the treatment of disorders of visuomotor integration, perception and cognition. Key examples of such disorders include attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and dyslexia, both of which appear to include deficits in oculomotor control. The proposed research is particularly relevant to ADHD, which afflicts more than five percent of children in the U.S., making it one of the most common mental disorders to affect children.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
2R01EY014924-06A2
Application #
7782119
Study Section
Cognitive Neuroscience Study Section (COG)
Program Officer
Steinmetz, Michael A
Project Start
2003-06-01
Project End
2014-08-31
Budget Start
2010-09-30
Budget End
2011-08-31
Support Year
6
Fiscal Year
2010
Total Cost
$412,325
Indirect Cost
Name
Stanford University
Department
Biology
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
009214214
City
Stanford
State
CA
Country
United States
Zip Code
94305
Hartmann, Till S; Zirnsak, Marc; Marquis, Michael et al. (2017) Two Types of Receptive Field Dynamics in Area V4 at the Time of Eye Movements? Front Syst Neurosci 11:13
Sridharan, Devarajan; Steinmetz, Nicholas A; Moore, Tirin et al. (2017) Does the Superior Colliculus Control Perceptual Sensitivity or Choice Bias during Attention? Evidence from a Multialternative Decision Framework. J Neurosci 37:480-511
Mueller, Adrienne; Hong, David S; Shepard, Steven et al. (2017) Linking ADHD to the Neural Circuitry of Attention. Trends Cogn Sci 21:474-488
Merrikhi, Yaser; Clark, Kelsey; Albarran, Eddy et al. (2017) Spatial working memory alters the efficacy of input to visual cortex. Nat Commun 8:15041
Engel, Tatiana A; Steinmetz, Nicholas A; Gieselmann, Marc A et al. (2016) Selective modulation of cortical state during spatial attention. Science 354:1140-1144
Okun, Michael; Steinmetz, Nicholas; Cossell, Lee et al. (2015) Diverse coupling of neurons to populations in sensory cortex. Nature 521:511-515
Hu, Meng; Clark, Kelsey L; Gong, Xiajing et al. (2015) Copula regression analysis of simultaneously recorded frontal eye field and inferotemporal spiking activity during object-based working memory. J Neurosci 35:8745-57
Zirnsak, Marc; Moore, Tirin (2014) Saccades and shifting receptive fields: anticipating consequences or selecting targets? Trends Cogn Sci 18:621-8
Burrows, Brittany E; Zirnsak, Marc; Akhlaghpour, Hessameddin et al. (2014) Global selection of saccadic target features by neurons in area v4. J Neurosci 34:6700-6
Krock, Rebecca M; Moore, Tirin (2014) The Influence of Gaze Control on Visual Perception: Eye Movements and Visual Stability. Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol 79:123-30

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