Selective modulation of cortical state during spatial attention

Tatiana A. Engel, Nicholas A. Steinmetz, Marc A. Gieselmann, Alexander Thiele, Tirin Moore, Kwabena Boahen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


Neocortical activity is permeated with endogenously generated fluctuations, but how these dynamics affect goal-directed behavior remains a mystery. We found that ensemble neural activity in primate visual cortex spontaneously fluctuated between phases of vigorous (On) and faint (Off) spiking synchronously across cortical layers. These On-Off dynamics, reflecting global changes in cortical state, were also modulated at a local scale during selective attention. Moreover, the momentary phase of local ensemble activity predicted behavioral performance. Our results show that cortical state is controlled locally within a cortical map according to cognitive demands and reveal the impact of these local changes in cortical state on goal-directed behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1140-1144
Number of pages5
Issue number6316
StatePublished - Dec 2 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Selective modulation of cortical state during spatial attention'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this