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Direct evidence for attention-dependent influences of the frontal eye-fields on feature-responsive visual cortex

Heinen, K; Feredoes, E; Weiskopf, N; Ruff, CC; Driver, J; (2013) Direct evidence for attention-dependent influences of the frontal eye-fields on feature-responsive visual cortex. Cerebral Cortex , 24 (11) pp. 2815-2821. 10.1093/cercor/bht157. Green open access

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Abstract

Voluntary selective attention can prioritize different features in a visual scene. The frontal eye-fields (FEF) are one potential source of such feature-specific top-down signals, but causal evidence for influences on visual cortex (as was shown for "spatial" attention) has remained elusive. Here, we show that transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) applied to right FEF increased the blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signals in visual areas processing "target feature" but not in "distracter feature"-processing regions. TMS-induced BOLD signals increase in motion-responsive visual cortex (MT+) when motion was attended in a display with moving dots superimposed on face stimuli, but in face-responsive fusiform area (FFA) when faces were attended to. These TMS effects on BOLD signal in both regions were negatively related to performance (on the motion task), supporting the behavioral relevance of this pathway. Our findings provide new causal evidence for the human FEF in the control of nonspatial "feature"-based attention, mediated by dynamic influences on feature-specific visual cortex that vary with the currently attended property.

Type: Article
Title: Direct evidence for attention-dependent influences of the frontal eye-fields on feature-responsive visual cortex
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bht157
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bht157
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact journals permissions@oup.com
Keywords: Concurrent TMS-fMRI, Feature attention, Frontal eye-fields, Top-down control
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Department of Neuromuscular Diseases
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1398179
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