November 25, 2020

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

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 areas V1 and V4. Stimulus induced inter-laminar information flow within V1 dominated upwardly, channeling information towards supragranular cortico-cortical 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 layers 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 (4-25 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.

bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

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