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Does the Superior Colliculus Control Perceptual Sensitivity or Choice Bias during Attention? Evidence from a Multialternative Decision Framework

Sridharan, Devarajan and Steinmetz, Nicholas A and Moore, Tirin and Knudsen, Eric I (2017) Does the Superior Colliculus Control Perceptual Sensitivity or Choice Bias during Attention? Evidence from a Multialternative Decision Framework. In: JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE, 37 (3). pp. 480-511.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4505-14.2017

Abstract

Distinct networks in the forebrain and the midbrain coordinate to control spatial attention. The critical involvement of the superior colliculus (SC)-the central structure in the midbrain network-in visuospatial attention has been shown by four seminal, published studies in monkeys (Macaca mulatta) performing multialternative tasks. However, due to the lack of a mechanistic framework for interpreting behavioral data in such tasks, the nature of the SC's contribution to attention remains unclear. Here we present and validate a novel decision framework for analyzing behavioral data in multialternative attention tasks. We apply this framework to re-examine the behavioral evidence from these published studies. Our model is a multidimensional extension to signal detection theory that distinguishes between two major classes of attentional mechanisms: those that alter the quality of sensory information or ``sensitivity,'' and those that alter the selective gating of sensory information or ``choice bias.'' Model-based simulations and model-based analyses of data from these published studies revealed a converging pattern of results that indicated that choice-bias changes, rather than sensitivity changes, were the primary outcome of SC manipulation. Our results suggest that the SC contributes to attentional performance predominantly by generating a spatial choice bias for stimuli at a selected location, and that this bias operates downstream of forebrain mechanisms that enhance sensitivity. The findings lead to a testable mechanistic framework of how the midbrain and forebrain networks interact to control spatial attention.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the SOC NEUROSCIENCE, 11 DUPONT CIRCLE, NW, STE 500, WASHINGTON, DC 20036 USA
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Neuroscience
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2017 09:43
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2017 09:43
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/56413

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