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Behavioral/Systems/Cognitive Cooperation and Competition among Frontal Eye Field

Summary: Behavioral/Systems/Cognitive
Cooperation and Competition among Frontal Eye Field
Neurons during Visual Target Selection
Jeremiah Y. Cohen, Erin A. Crowder, Richard P. Heitz, Chenchal R. Subraveti, Kirk G. Thompson,
Geoffrey F. Woodman, and Jeffrey D. Schall
Department of Psychology, Vanderbilt Vision Research Center, Center for Integrative and Cognitive Neuroscience, Vanderbilt Brain Institute, Vanderbilt
University, Nashville, Tennessee 37240
The role of spike rate versus timing codes in visual target selection is unclear. We simultaneously recorded activity from multiple frontal
eye field neurons and asked whether they interacted to select targets from distractors during visual search. When both neurons in a pair
the target, measured by positive spike timing correlations using joint peristimulus time histogram analysis. The amount of cooperation
depended on the location of the search target: it was higher when the target was inside both neurons' RFs than when it was inside one RF
but not the other, or outside both RFs. Elevated spike timing coincidences occurred at the time of attentional selection of the target as
measured by average modulation of discharge rates. We observed competition among neurons with spatially non-overlapping RFs,
measured by negative spike timing correlations. Thus, we provide evidence for dynamic and task-dependent cooperation and competi-
tion among frontal eye field neurons during visual target selection.
Complex behavior is the result of interactions among neurons in
different brain areas. Saccadic visual search is one behavior ideal
for understanding the role of neuronal interactions in perceptual


Source: Andrzejak, Ralph Gregor - Departament de Tecnologia, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Palmeri, Thomas - Department of Psychology, Vanderbilt University
Woodman, Geoffrey F. - Department of Psychology, Vanderbilt University


Collections: Biology and Medicine; Computer Technologies and Information Sciences