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Title: Goal-directed control with cortical units that are gated by both top-down feedback and oscillatory coherence
Authors: Kerr, Robert
Grayden, David
Thomas, Doreen
Gilson, Matthieu
Burkitt, Anthony
Keywords: Cerebral Cortex
Physiological/ physiology
Neural Inhibition
Neural Pathways
Issue Date: Aug-2014
Citation: Kerr, R. R., Grayden, D. B., Thomas, D. A., Gilson, M., & Burkitt, A. N. (2014). Goal-directed control with cortical units that are gated by both top-down feedback and oscillatory coherence. Frontiers in Neural Circuits, 8, 94.
Abstract: The brain is able to flexibly select behaviors that adapt to both its environment and its present goals. This cognitive control is understood to occur within the hierarchy of the cortex and relies strongly on the prefrontal and premotor cortices, which sit at the top of this hierarchy. Pyramidal neurons, the principal neurons in the cortex, have been observed to exhibit much stronger responses when they receive inputs at their soma/basal dendrites that are coincident with inputs at their apical dendrites. This corresponds to inputs from both lower-order regions (feedforward) and higher-order regions (feedback), respectively. In addition to this, coherence between oscillations, such as gamma oscillations, in different neuronal groups has been proposed to modulate and route communication in the brain. In this paper, we develop a simple, but novel, neural mass model in which cortical units (or ensembles) exhibit gamma oscillations when they receive coherent oscillatory inputs from both feedforward and feedback connections. By forming these units into circuits that can perform logic operations, we identify the different ways in which operations can be initiated and manipulated by top-down feedback. We demonstrate that more sophisticated and flexible top-down control is possible when the gain of units is modulated by not only top-down feedback but by coherence between the activities of the oscillating units. With these types of units, it is possible to not only add units to, or remove units from, a higher-level unit's logic operation using top-down feedback, but also to modify the type of role that a unit plays in the operation. Finally, we explore how different network properties affect top-down control and processing in large networks. Based on this, we make predictions about the likely connectivities between certain brain regions that have been experimentally observed to be involved in goal-directed behavior and top-down attention.
URI: http://repository.bionicsinstitute.org:8080/handle/123456789/120
ISSN: 1662-5110 (Electronic) 1662-5110 (Linking)
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