The pulvinar regulates information transmission between cortical areas based on attention demands

Yuri B. Saalmann, Mark A. Pinsk, Liang Wang, Xin Li, Sabine Kastner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

464 Scopus citations

Abstract

Selective attention mechanisms route behaviorally relevant information through large-scale cortical networks. Although evidence suggests that populations of cortical neurons synchronize their activity to preferentially transmit information about attentional priorities, it is unclear how cortical synchrony across a network is accomplished. Based on its anatomical connectivity with the cortex, we hypothesized that the pulvinar, a thalamic nucleus, regulates cortical synchrony. We mapped pulvino-cortical networks within the visual system, using diffusion tensor imaging, and simultaneously recorded spikes and field potentials from these interconnected network sites in monkeys performing a visuospatial attention task. The pulvinar synchronized activity between interconnected cortical areas according to attentional allocation, suggesting a critical role for the thalamus not only in attentional selection but more generally in regulating information transmission across the visual cortex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)753-756
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume337
Issue number6095
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 10 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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