Published on January 8, 2019 | Updated on January 29, 2019

CORTEX conference by Suliann Ben Hamed

September 29th, 2017

The spatial and temporal dynamics of attention: insights from the real-time decoding of the attentional spotlight

The prefrontal cortex, including the frontal eye fields, is thought to play an important role in orienting spatial attention and in the suppression of irrelevant distracters during active vision. However, the knowledge we have gained onto these processes up to now have been based on task-based inferences on attention, rather than on where attention is actually being placed by the subject. In a first part of my talk, I will demonstrate real-time tracking of covert spatial attention from the activity of bilateral prefrontal dense neuronal recordings in the non-human primate, and its predictive value on overt behavior. In a second part of my talk, I will show that this real-time access to the attentional spotlight is instrumental to reveal the spatial and temporal dynamics of prefrontal attentional information. Last, I will provide evidence that voluntary control onto the attentional spotlight improves spatial attention performance through a complex reorganization of prefrontal processes.