Attentional Neurons and Circuits


September 22, 2015 - 12:00pm
NW 243
About the Speaker
Julius Zhu (University of Virginia)

Salience selection plays a key role in cortical attention-demanding processes, e.g., attentional, expectational, perceptual and working memory tasks. We have discovered that cortical pyramidal neurons that receive both modulatory and sensory inputs can use a coincidence detection mechanism to non-linearly amplify salient information. In addition, cortical inhibitory circuits may either inhibit or disinhibit this coincidence detection mechanism. Our findings suggest that cortical neurons, synapses, and circuits work together to filter out “noise” in the incoming information and allow more attention to salient signals.