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Paper   IPM / Cognitive Sciences / 16363
School of Cognitive Sciences
  Title:   Attention strengthens across-trial pre-stimulus phase coherence in visual cortex, enhancing stimulus processing
1.  B. Zareian
2.  K. Maboudi
3.  M. Daliri
4.  H. Moghaddam
5.  M. Esghaei
  Status:   Published
  Journal: Scientific Reports
  No.:  1
  Vol.:  10
  Year:  2020
  Pages:   1-13
  Supported by:  IPM
Attention selectively routes the most behaviorally relevant information from the stream of sensory inputs through the hierarchy of cortical areas. Previous studies have shown that visual attention depends on the phase of oscillatory brain activities. These studies mainly focused on the stimulus presentation period, rather than the pre-stimulus period. Here, we hypothesize that selective attention controls the phase of oscillatory neural activities to efficiently process relevant information. We document an attentional modulation of pre-stimulus inter-trial phase coherence (a measure of deviation between instantaneous phases of trials) of low frequency local field potentials (LFP) in visual area MT of macaque monkeys. Our data reveal that phase coherence increases following a spatial cue deploying attention towards the receptive field of the recorded neural population. We further show that the attentional enhancement of phase coherence is positively correlated with the modulation of the stimulus-induced firing rate, and importantly, a higher phase coherence is associated with a faster behavioral response. These results suggest a functional utilization of intrinsic neural oscillatory activities for an enhanced processing of upcoming stimuli.

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