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Neocortical circuit dynamics of attentional capture and expectancy in sensory perception

English title Neocortical circuit dynamics of attentional capture and expectancy in sensory perception
Applicant Sachidhanandam Shankar Babu
Number 182678
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Institut für Physiologie Medizinische Fakultät Universität Bern
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline Neurophysiology and Brain Research
Start/End 01.01.2019 - 31.12.2022
Approved amount 632'000.00
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Keywords (8)

expectancy; spatial neglect; attention; posterior parietal cortex; predictive coding; in-vivo; 2-photon calcium imaging; patch clamp electrophysiology

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Dans la vie quotidienne, nous sommes confrontés constamment par des multitudes de stimuli sensoriels. Le processus cognitif de l’attention nous permet de prioriser certains stimuli relativement aux autres. Mais comment est-ce qu’une priorité ou qu’une valeur est attribuée à un stimulus?
Lay summary

Dans le cerveau, le cortex pariétal postérieur (PPC) fait partie de l’axe de l’attention et il est impliqué dans la sélection des stimuli. Nos récents résultats suggèrent que le PPC pourrait aussi jouer un rôle dans les formations des associations avec les stimuli sensoriels. Nous voulons identifier les circuits neuronaux au sein de PPC qui sont nécessaires pour la création des associations sensorielles et ensuite manipuler leurs activités avec le but de moduler l’attention et les associations sensoriels. Les résultats de ce projet nous donneront les informations vitales nécessaires pour le développement des potentiels stratégies de traitement dans les cas de négligence spatiale, où les individus sont incapables de détecter et de répondre aux stimuli venant d’un côté par rapport à l’autre.     

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 07.11.2018

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Employees

Abstract

The cognitive process of attention allows for the selective processing of salient stimuli over others, when we are constantly challenged with stimuli that engage our senses. The fronto-parietal attention circuit is part of the dorsal attention network, responsible for stimulus selection, and the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) is part of this network. The PPC, in addition to sensory processing, is capable of multisensory integration, playing a role in spatial navigation and representation. Dysfunctions in this network, due to stroke-induced lesions, have been attributed to being causal in the pathophysiology of spatial neglect, resulting in failure to attend and respond to contralesional stimuli. Our recent findings indicate that the PPC is involved in stimulus association and expectancy, in particular reporting stimulus omission, playing a potential role in predictive coding. The aim of our research program is to identify the neocortical circuits, at the level of the PPC, that are implicated in attentional capture and expectancy, and determine their modulation by top-down attention circuits, as well as bottom-up sensory inputs and to subsequently probe their role and contribution to sensory perception during goal directed behavior. The findings from this investigation will provide a framework for the functioning of neocortical circuits in attentional capture, expectancy and predictive coding, in both quiet awake states and during goal directed behavior, as well as its modulation by top-down attention circuits and bottom-up inputs. This will provide vital information for the development of potential treatment strategies in spatial neglect, where affected patients can be trained to harness top-down attention, such as paying attention to salient cues, to overcome their disability.
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