Much progress has been made in understanding the neural bases of cognitive functions related to selective attention, memory, or decision making in humans using functional brain mapping techniques and in the macaque as the prototypical animal model for human brain function using single-cell physiology and other invasive techniques. These studies have almost exclusively focused on sensory and higher-order processing areas of the cerebral cortex. In contrast, relatively little is known about the role of thalamic nuclei such as the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) in perception and cognition. Traditionally, the LGN has been viewed as the gateway to primary visual cortex, which conveys the visual information faithfully from the retina to cortex without much modulation. The goal of the proposed research is to challenge this traditional view by investigating the functional role of the LGN in perceptual functions related to visual awareness and in cognitive functions related to selective attention. The central hypothesis that motivates this research is that the LGN plays an important role beyond that of a relay nucleus as a gatekeeper in visual attention and awareness. FMRI and behavioral studies in non-impaired and dyslexic subjects are proposed to address the following questions: 1) Can neural correlates of conscious perception be identified as early as in the parvocellular, or magnocellular parts of the LGN?; 2) What is the neural mechanism by which selective attention controls gain in the human LGN, and is this gain control confined to the magnocellular LGN?; 3) Are visual processing abnormalities and attentional deficits in dyslexic subjects associated with a functional disorganization of the magnocellular LGN? In the human brain, it has proven difficult to study subcortical nuclei because of spatial resolution and signal-to-noise limitations of brain mapping techniques. The proposed research will use innovative high- and super-resolution imaging techniques in humans to overcome some of these issues. The cerebral cortex depends critically on the information that it receives from the thalamus, since it receives very little else. Understanding cortical functioning depends on understanding the thalamic inputs that are the necessary first step in cortical processing. ? ? ?

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01EY017699-02
Application #
7389479
Study Section
Central Visual Processing Study Section (CVP)
Program Officer
Oberdorfer, Michael
Project Start
2007-04-01
Project End
2012-02-29
Budget Start
2008-03-01
Budget End
2009-02-28
Support Year
2
Fiscal Year
2008
Total Cost
$384,522
Indirect Cost
Name
Princeton University
Department
Psychology
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
002484665
City
Princeton
State
NJ
Country
United States
Zip Code
08544
Popov, Tzvetan; Kastner, Sabine; Jensen, Ole (2017) FEF-Controlled Alpha Delay Activity Precedes Stimulus-Induced Gamma-Band Activity in Visual Cortex. J Neurosci 37:4117-4127
Bonnefond, Mathilde; Kastner, Sabine; Jensen, Ole (2017) Communication between Brain Areas Based on Nested Oscillations. eNeuro 4:
Halassa, Michael M; Kastner, Sabine (2017) Thalamic functions in distributed cognitive control. Nat Neurosci 20:1669-1679
Kastner, S; Chen, Q; Jeong, S K et al. (2017) A brief comparative review of primate posterior parietal cortex: A novel hypothesis on the human toolmaker. Neuropsychologia 105:123-134
Arcaro, M J; Kastner, S (2015) Topographic organization of areas V3 and V4 and its relation to supra-areal organization of the primate visual system. Vis Neurosci 32:E014
Arcaro, Michael J; Honey, Christopher J; Mruczek, Ryan E B et al. (2015) Widespread correlation patterns of fMRI signal across visual cortex reflect eccentricity organization. Elife 4:
Buschman, Timothy J; Kastner, Sabine (2015) From Behavior to Neural Dynamics: An Integrated Theory of Attention. Neuron 88:127-44
Wang, Liang; Mruczek, Ryan E B; Arcaro, Michael J et al. (2015) Probabilistic Maps of Visual Topography in Human Cortex. Cereb Cortex 25:3911-31
Scolari, Miranda; Seidl-Rathkopf, Katharina N; Kastner, Sabine (2015) Functions of the human frontoparietal attention network: Evidence from neuroimaging. Curr Opin Behav Sci 1:32-39
Arcaro, Michael J; Pinsk, Mark A; Kastner, Sabine (2015) The Anatomical and Functional Organization of the Human Visual Pulvinar. J Neurosci 35:9848-71

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