Visual attention increases synchrony of neural activity in visual cortex.  Fries and colleagues showed that synchronization differs for putative excitatory (broad-spiking) and inhibitory (narrow-spiking) neurons.  The inhibitory neurons synchronize in the gamma band twice as strongly as excitatory neurons but the excitatory neurons synchronize to an earlier phase than inhibitory neurons.  Further, attention increases gamma synchrony for the most active neurons but decreases synchrony for the least active neurons.  These results show that attention-related neural synchrony is not uniform but instead an orchestration between different neuron types showing different types of synchrony.  This lends further support for the role of neural synchrony in attention.

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.