Show Reference: "Subcortical Mechanisms of Feature-Based Attention"

Subcortical Mechanisms of Feature-Based Attention The Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 31, No. 23. (8 June 2011), pp. 8643-8653, doi:10.1523/jneurosci.6274-10.2011 by Keith A. Schneider
    abstract = {The degree to which spatial and feature-based attention are governed by similar control mechanisms is not clear. To explore this issue, I measured, during conditions of spatial or feature-based attention, activity in the human subcortical visual nuclei, which have precise retinotopic maps and are known to play important roles in the regulation of spatial attention but have limited selectivity of nonspatial features. Subjects attended to and detected changes in separate fields of moving or colored dots. When the fields were disjoint, spatially attending to one field enhanced hemodynamic responses in the superior colliculus ({SC}), lateral geniculate nucleus ({LGN}), and two retinotopic pulvinar nuclei. When the two dot fields were spatially overlapping, feature-based attention to the moving versus colored dots enhanced responses in the pulvinar nuclei and the majority of the {LGN}, including the magnocellular layers, and suppressed activity in some areas within the parvocellular layers; the {SC} was inconsistently modulated among subjects. The results demonstrate that feature-based attention operates throughout the visual system by prioritizing neurons encoding the attended information, including broadly tuned thalamic neurons. I conclude that spatial and feature-based attention operate via a common principle, but that spatial location is a special feature in that it is widely encoded in the brain, is used for overt orienting, and uses a specialized structure, the {SC}.},
    author = {Schneider, Keith A.},
    citeulike-article-id = {9394283},
    citeulike-linkout-0 = {\%2e1523/jneurosci\%2e6274\%2d10\%2e2011},
    citeulike-linkout-1 = {},
    citeulike-linkout-2 = {},
    day = {8},
    doi = {10\%2e1523/jneurosci\%2e6274\%2d10\%2e2011},
    issn = {1529-2401},
    journal = {The Journal of Neuroscience},
    keywords = {attention, feature-attention, sc},
    month = jun,
    number = {23},
    pages = {8643--8653},
    pmid = {21653868},
    posted-at = {2013-06-14 15:52:11},
    priority = {2},
    publisher = {Society for Neuroscience},
    title = {Subcortical Mechanisms of {Feature-Based} Attention},
    url = {\%2e1523/jneurosci\%2e6274\%2d10\%2e2011},
    volume = {31},
    year = {2011}

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Spatial attention can enhance the activity of SC neurons whose receptive fields overlap the attended region

In an fMRI experiment, Schneider found that spatial attention and switching between modes of attention (attending to moving or to colored stimuli) strongly affected SC activation, but results for feature-based attention were inconclusive.

The fact that Schneider did not find conclusive evidence for modulation of neural responses by feature-based attention might be related to the fact that the superficial SC does not seem to receive color-based information and deep SC seems to receive color-based information only via visual cortex.

Retinotopic organization of a visual structure as the SC in the brain can be determined using fMRI.