Prefrontal attentional saccades explore spacerhythmically.

06 juillet 2020 par JP Jaffrézou [TheChamp-Sharing]
Corentin Gaillard, Sameh Ben Hadj Hassen, Fabio Di Bello, Yann Bihan-Poudec, Rufin VanRullen & Suliann Ben Hamed. NATURE COMMUNICATIONS(2020) 11:925

Recent studies suggest that attention samples space rhythmically through oscillatory inter-actions in the frontoparietal network. How these attentionalfluctuations coincide with spatialexploration/displacement and exploitation/selection by a dynamic attentional spotlight undertop-down control is unclear. Here, we show a direct contribution of prefrontal attentionselection mechanisms to a continuous space exploration. Specifically, we provide a directhigh spatio-temporal resolution prefrontal population decoding of the covert attentionalspotlight. We show that it continuously explores space at a 7–12 Hz rhythm. Sensoryencoding and behavioral reports are increased at a specific optimal phase w/ to this rhythm.We propose that this prefrontal neuronal rhythm reflects an alpha-clocked sampling of thevisual environment in the absence of eye movements. These attentional explorations arehighlyflexible, how they spatially unfold depending both on within-trial and across-taskcontingencies. These results are discussed in the context of exploration-exploitation strate-gies and prefrontal top-down attentional control.