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Tuned Normalization Explains the Size of Attention Modulations

Ni, Amy M and Ray, Supratim and Maunsell, John HR (2012) Tuned Normalization Explains the Size of Attention Modulations. In: Neuron, 73 (4). pp. 803-813.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2012.01.006


The effect of attention on firing rates varies considerably within a single cortical area. The firing rate of some neurons is greatly modulated by attention while others are hardly affected. The reason for this variability across neurons is unknown. We found that the variability in attention modulation across neurons in area MT of macaques can be well explained by variability in the strength of tuned normalization across neurons. The presence of tuned normalization also explains a striking asymmetry in attention effects within neurons: when two stimuli are in a neuron's receptive field, directing attention to the preferred stimulus modulates firing rates more than directing attention to the nonpreferred stimulus. These findings show that much of the neuron-to-neuron variability in modulation of responses by attention depends on variability in the way the neurons process multiple stimuli, rather than differences in the influence of top-down signals related to attention.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Neuron
Publisher: Elsevier Science
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Elsevier Science.
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Neuroscience
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2012 06:03
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2012 06:03
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/44090

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