Operating with some finite quantity of processing resources, an animal would benefit from prioritizing the sensory modality expected to provide key information in a particular context. The present study investigated whether rats dedicate attentional resources to the sensory modality in which a near-threshold event is more likely to occur. We manipulated attention by controlling the likelihood with which a stimulus was presented from one of two modalities. In a whisker session, 80% of trials contained a brief vibration stimulus applied to whiskers and the remaining 20% of trials contained a brief change of luminance. These likelihoods were reversed in a visual session. When a stimulus was presented in the high-likelihood context, detection performance increased and was faster compared with the same stimulus presented in the low-likelihood context. Sensory prioritization was also reflected in neuronal activity in the vibrissal area of primary somatosensory cortex: single units responded differentially to the whisker vibration stimulus when presented with higher probability compared with lower probability. Neuronal activity in the vibrissal cortex displayed signatures of multiplicative gain control and enhanced response to vibration stimuli during the whisker session. In conclusion, rats allocate priority to the more likely stimulus modality and the primary sensory cortex may participate in the redistribution of resources.
|Titolo:||Sensory Prioritization in Rats: Behavioral Performance and Neuronal Correlates|
|Autori:||Lee, Conrad C Y; Diamond, Mathew E; Arabzadeh, Ehsan|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2016|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3636-15.2016|
|Fulltext via DOI:||10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3636-15.2016|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Journal article|