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Sabine Kastner, Yuri B. Saalman; Role of the pulvinar in regulating information transmission between cortical areas. Journal of Vision 2012;12(9):1374. doi: 10.1167/12.9.1374.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Recent studies suggest that the degree of neural synchrony between cortical areas can modulate their information transfer according to attentional needs. However, it is not clear how two cortical areas synchronize their activities. Directly connected cortical areas are generally also indirectly connected via the thalamic nucleus, the pulvinar. We hypothesized that the pulvinar helps synchronize activity between cortical areas, and tested this by simultaneously recording from the pulvinar, V4, TEO and LIP of macaque monkeys performing a spatial attention task. Electrodes targeted interconnected sites between these areas, as determined by probabilistic tractography on diffusion tensor imaging data. Spatial attention increased synchrony between the cortical areas in the beta frequency range, in line with increased causal influence of the pulvinar on the cortex at the same frequencies. These results suggest that the pulvinar co-ordinates activity between cortical areas, to increase the efficacy of cortico-cortical transmission.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2012
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