John Duncan and colleagues examined dynamic allocation of attention in the prefrontal cortex. A behaviorally relevant target and non-target were simultaneously presented in both visual hemifields. At first, activity in each hemifield was dominated by the stimulus in the contralateral field but then all activity became dominated by the target alone. The speed and degree of attentional reallocation depend on relative attentional weights; more experience with a target led to faster and greater allocation to the target. Because neurons rapidly shifted their representation from an irrelevant to relevant stimulus in the opposite hemifield, these results are consistent with adaptive coding models of neural representation.
Kadohisa et al (2013) Dynamic Construction of a Coherent Attentional State in a Prefrontal Cell Population
Further reading on adaptive coding:
Miller, E.K. and Cohen, J.D. (2001) An integrative theory of prefrontal cortex function. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 24:167-202. View PDF »
Duncan, J. and Miller, E.K. (2013) Adaptive neural coding in frontal and parietal cortex. In: Stuss, D.T. and Knight, R.T. (Eds). Principles of Frontal Lobe Function: Second Edition.
Rigotti, M., Barak, O., Warden, M.R., Wang, X., Daw, N.D., Miller, E.K., & Fusi, S. “The importance of mixed selectivity in complex cognitive tasks”. Nature, 497, 585-590, 2013 doi:10.1038/nature12160. View PDF
About the Author
The Miller Lab uses experimental and theoretical approaches to study the neural basis of the high-level cognitive functions that underlie complex goal-directed behavior. ekmillerlab.mit.edu