Stanford Neurosciences Institute Seminar Series Presents
Neural network dynamics for attentional selection in the primate brain
Sabine Kastner, M.D., Ph.D
Professor of Psychology, Princeton University
Host: Jin Hyung Lee
Natural scenes are cluttered and contain many objects that cannot all be processed simultaneously due to capacity limitations of the visual system. Selective attention refers to a set of mechanisms that route behaviorally relevant information through large-scale cortical networks. I will discuss studies performed in two primate brain models, the human and the macaque monkey, using a variety of different techniques including fMRI, ECoG and single-cell physiology. First, I will discuss how large-scale networks mediating perception and cognition can be identified using functional brain imaging. Second, I will discuss physiology studies revealing temporal dynamics in a distributed large-scale network that mediates the selection of behaviorally relevant information. And third, I will present results from primate posterior parietal cortex revealing common neural mechanisms for attentional selection that are closely related to behavioral outcome. Together, these comparative electrophysiology studies begin to identify commonalities and differences in attention mechanisms across primate species.