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      Top-down versus bottom-up control of attention in the prefrontal and posterior parietal cortices.

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          Abstract

          Attention can be focused volitionally by "top-down" signals derived from task demands and automatically by "bottom-up" signals from salient stimuli. The frontal and parietal cortices are involved, but their neural activity has not been directly compared. Therefore, we recorded from them simultaneously in monkeys. Prefrontal neurons reflected the target location first during top-down attention, whereas parietal neurons signaled it earlier during bottom-up attention. Synchrony between frontal and parietal areas was stronger in lower frequencies during top-down attention and in higher frequencies during bottom-up attention. This result indicates that top-down and bottom-up signals arise from the frontal and sensory cortex, respectively, and different modes of attention may emphasize synchrony at different frequencies.

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          Most cited references 23

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          An integrative theory of prefrontal cortex function.

          The prefrontal cortex has long been suspected to play an important role in cognitive control, in the ability to orchestrate thought and action in accordance with internal goals. Its neural basis, however, has remained a mystery. Here, we propose that cognitive control stems from the active maintenance of patterns of activity in the prefrontal cortex that represent goals and the means to achieve them. They provide bias signals to other brain structures whose net effect is to guide the flow of activity along neural pathways that establish the proper mappings between inputs, internal states, and outputs needed to perform a given task. We review neurophysiological, neurobiological, neuroimaging, and computational studies that support this theory and discuss its implications as well as further issues to be addressed
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            Neural mechanisms of selective visual attention.

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              A feature-integration theory of attention

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                Author and article information

                Affiliations
                [1 ] Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, RIKEN-MIT Neuroscience Research Center, and Department of Brain and Cognitive Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
                Journal
                Science
                Science (New York, N.Y.)
                American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
                1095-9203
                0036-8075
                Mar 30 2007
                : 315
                : 5820
                315/5820/1860
                10.1126/science.1138071
                17395832

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