John Reynolds, Systems Neurobiology Laboratory, Salk Institute
September 22 2014, 11h Salle de réunion du LPP, H432
Attentional modulation of neuronal response gain and variability in alert monkey. New optogenetic techniques.
For the past forty five years, research on the neural mechanisms underlying attention has focused primarily on modulation of neurons' mean firing rates. Recently attention has also been found to reduce neuronal response variability (Mitchell, Sundberg & Reynolds, 2007; Mitchell, Sundberg & Reynolds, 2009; Cohen & Maunsell, 2009). We estimate that 80% of the benefit of attention is attributable to this newly discovered form of attentional modulation, with the remaining 20% attributable to changes in mean firing rate. I will describe efforts underway in my laboratory to understand these two forms of attentional modulation and will propose a unified explanation for both phenomena, which incorporate primate optogenetics, neurophysiology and computational modeling.