Synchronization as a mechanism for attentional gain modulation

Paul H.E. Tiesinga, Jean Marc Fellous, Emilio Salinas, Jorge V. José, Terrence J. Sejnowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Responses of neurons in monkey visual cortex are modulated when attention is directed into the receptive field of the neuron: the gain or sensitivity of the response is increased or the synchronization of the spikes to the local field potential (LFP) is increased. We investigated, using model simulations, whether the synchrony of inhibitory networks could link these observations. We found that, indeed, an increase in inhibitory synchrony could enhance the coherence of the model neurons with the simulated LFP, and could have different effects on the firing rate. When the firing rate vs. current (f-I) response curves saturated at high I, attention yielded a shift in sensitivity; alternatively, when the f-I curves were non-saturating, the most significant effect was on the gain of the response. This suggests that attention may act through changes in the synchrony of inhibitory networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)641-646
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Jun 2004


  • Gamma oscillations
  • Selective attention
  • Synchronization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Artificial Intelligence


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