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Cholinergic stimulation enhances Bayesian belief updating in the deployment of spatial attention.

Vossel, S; Bauer, M; Mathys, C; Adams, RA; Dolan, RJ; Stephan, KE; Friston, KJ; (2014) Cholinergic stimulation enhances Bayesian belief updating in the deployment of spatial attention. J Neurosci , 34 (47) 15735 - 15742. 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0091-14.2014. Green open access

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Abstract

The exact mechanisms whereby the cholinergic neurotransmitter system contributes to attentional processing remain poorly understood. Here, we applied computational modeling to psychophysical data (obtained from a spatial attention task) under a psychopharmacological challenge with the cholinesterase inhibitor galantamine (Reminyl). This allowed us to characterize the cholinergic modulation of selective attention formally, in terms of hierarchical Bayesian inference. In a placebo-controlled, within-subject, crossover design, 16 healthy human subjects performed a modified version of Posner's location-cueing task in which the proportion of validly and invalidly cued targets (percentage of cue validity, % CV) changed over time. Saccadic response speeds were used to estimate the parameters of a hierarchical Bayesian model to test whether cholinergic stimulation affected the trial-wise updating of probabilistic beliefs that underlie the allocation of attention or whether galantamine changed the mapping from those beliefs to subsequent eye movements. Behaviorally, galantamine led to a greater influence of probabilistic context (% CV) on response speed than placebo. Crucially, computational modeling suggested this effect was due to an increase in the rate of belief updating about cue validity (as opposed to the increased sensitivity of behavioral responses to those beliefs). We discuss these findings with respect to cholinergic effects on hierarchical cortical processing and in relation to the encoding of expected uncertainty or precision.

Type: Article
Title: Cholinergic stimulation enhances Bayesian belief updating in the deployment of spatial attention.
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0091-14.2014
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0091-14.2014
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2014 the authors
Keywords: Bayesian inference, acetylcholine, saccades, spatial attention, Adult, Attention, Bayes Theorem, Cholinergic Agonists, Cues, Eye Movements, Female, Galantamine, Humans, Learning, Male, Photic Stimulation, Space Perception, Young Adult
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 > 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 > Imaging Neuroscience
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1457152
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