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Directed information exchange between cortical layers in macaque V1 and V4 and its modulation by selective attention

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jochem van KempenORCiD, Michael Boyd, Dr Stefano Panzeri, Professor Alexander Thiele



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2021 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Achieving behavioral goals requires integration of sensory and cognitive information across cortical laminae and cortical regions. How this computation is performed remains unknown. Using local field potential recordings and spectrally resolved conditional Granger causality (cGC) analysis, we mapped visual information flow, and its attentional modulation, between cortical layers within and between macaque brain areas V1 and V4. Stimulus-induced interlaminar information flow within V1 dominated upwardly, channeling information toward supragranular corticocortical output layers. Within V4, information flow dominated from granular to supragranular layers, but interactions between supragranular and infragranular layers dominated downwardly. Low-frequency across-area communication was stronger from V4 to V1, with little layer specificity. Gamma-band communication was stronger in the feedforward V1-to-V4 direction. Attention to the receptive field of V1 decreased communication between all V1 layers, except for granular-to-supragranular layer interactions. Communication within V4, and from V1 to V4, increased with attention across all frequencies. While communication from V4 to V1 was stronger in lower-frequency bands (4 to 25 Hz), attention modulated cGCs from V4 to V1 across all investigated frequencies. Our data show that top-down cognitive processes result in reduced communication within cortical areas, increased feedforward communication across all frequency bands, and increased gamma-band feedback communication.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ferro D, van Kempen J, Boyd M, Panzeri S, Thiele A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Year: 2021

Volume: 118

Issue: 12

Print publication date: 23/03/2021

Acceptance date: 11/02/2021

Date deposited: 07/04/2021

ISSN (print): 0027-8424

ISSN (electronic): 1091-6490

Publisher: National Academy of Sciences


DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2022097118

PubMed id: 33723059


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Funder referenceFunder name
093104Wellcome Trust
MR/P013031/1Medical Research Council (MRC)
R01 NS108410