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    Theory of visual attention's thalamic model for visual short-term memory capacity and top-down control: evidence from a thalamo-cortical structural connectivity analysis

    Menegaux, A. and Napiorkowski, N. and Neitzel, J. and Ruiz-Rizzo, A.L. and Petersen, A. and Muller, Hermann and Sorg, C. and Finke, K. (2019) Theory of visual attention's thalamic model for visual short-term memory capacity and top-down control: evidence from a thalamo-cortical structural connectivity analysis. NeuroImage 195 , pp. 67-77. ISSN 1053-8119.

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    Abstract

    In the theory of visual attention (TVA), it is suggested that objects in a visual scene compete for representation in a visual short-term memory (vSTM) store. The race towards the store is assumed to be biased by top-down controlled weighting of the objects according to their task relevance. Only objects that reach the store before its capacity limitation is reached are represented consciously in a given instant. TVA-based computational modeling of participants' performance in whole- and partial-report tasks permits independent parameters of individual efficiency of top-down control α and vSTM storage capacity K to be extracted. The neural interpretation of the TVA proposes recurrent loops between the posterior thalamus and posterior visual cortices to be relevant for generating attentional weights for competing objects and for maintaining selected objects in vSTM. Accordingly, we tested whether structural connectivity between posterior thalamus and occipital cortices (PT-OC) is associated with estimates of top-down control and vSTM capacity. We applied whole- and partial-report tasks and probabilistic tractography in a sample of 37 healthy adults. We found vSTM capacity K to be associated with left PT-OC structural connectivity and a trend-wise relation between top-down control α and right PT-OC structural connectivity. These findings support the assumption of the relevance of thalamic structures and their connections to visual cortex for top-down control and vSTM capacity.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Diffusion tensor imaging, Neural theory of visual attention, Posterior thalamus, Probabilistic tractography, Visual short-term memory capacity
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Hermann Muller
    Date Deposited: 21 May 2019 10:41
    Last Modified: 27 Jul 2019 18:25
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/27067

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