Preparation for upcoming attentional states in the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex [article]

Eren Günseli, Mariam Aly
2019 bioRxiv   pre-print
Goal-directed attention is usually studied by providing individuals with explicit instructions on what they should attend to. But in daily life, we often use past experiences to guide our attentional states. Given the importance of memory for predicting upcoming events, we hypothesized that memory-guided attention is supported by neural preparation for anticipated attentional states. We examined preparatory coding in the human hippocampus and mPFC, two regions that are important for
more » ... d behaviors, in two tasks - one where attention was guided by memory and another in which attention was explicitly instructed. Hippocampus and mPFC exhibited higher activity for memory-guided vs. explicitly instructed attention. Furthermore, representations in both regions contained information about upcoming attentional states. In the hippocampus, this preparation was stronger for memory-guided attention, and occurred alongside stronger coupling with visual cortex during attentional guidance. These results highlight the mechanisms by which memories are used to prepare for upcoming attentional goals.
doi:10.1101/825349 fatcat:3wsn4fwtuvgzvm3jzsbpkmz4k4