Attention influences single unit and local field potential response latencies in visual cortical area V4

Academic Article


  • Many previous studies have demonstrated that changes in selective attention can alter the response magnitude of visual cortical neurons, but there has been little evidence for attention affecting response latency. Small latency differences, though hard to detect, can potentially be of functional importance, andmayalso give insight into the mechanisms of neuronal computation. We therefore reexamined the effect of attention on the response latency of both single units and the local field potential (LFP) in primate visual cortical area V4. We find that attention does produce small (1-2 ms) but significant reductions in the latency of both the spiking and LFP responses. Though attention, like contrast elevation, reduces response latencies, we find that the two have different effects on the magnitude of the LFP. Contrast elevations increase and attention decreases the magnitude of the initial deflection of the stimulus-evoked LFP. Both contrast elevation and attention increase the magnitude of the spiking response. We speculate that latencies may be reduced at higher contrast because stronger stimulus inputs drive neurons more rapidly to spiking threshold, while attention may reduce latencies by placing neurons in a more depolarized state closer to threshold before stimulus onset. © 2012 the authors.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Sundberg KA; Mitchell JF; Gawne TJ; Reynolds JH
  • Start Page

  • 16040
  • End Page

  • 16050
  • Volume

  • 32
  • Issue

  • 45