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Jacqueline Gottlieb; Multi-dimensional parietal signals for coordinating attention and decision making. Journal of Vision 2016;16(12):1300. doi: 10.1167/16.12.1300.
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© 2017 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
In humans and non-human primates, the parietal lobe plays a key role in spatial attention the ability to extract information from regions of space. This role is thought to be mediated by "priority" maps that highlight attention-worthy locations, and provide top-down feedback for motor orienting and attention allocation. Traditionally, priority signals have been characterized as being purely spatial - i.e., encoding the desired locus of gaze or attention regardless of the context in which the brain generates that selection. Here I argue, however, based on non-spatial modulations found in the monkey lateral intraparietal area, that non-spatial responses are critical for allowing the brain to coordinate attention with action - i.e., to estimate the significance and relative utility of competing sensory cues in the immediate task context. The results prompt an integrative view whereby attention is not a disembodied entity that acts on sensory or motor representations, but an organically emerging process that depends on dynamic interactions within sensorimotor loops.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2016
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