The lateral intraparietal area (LIP) as a cortical priority map

09 July 2013
Begin time: 


Visual attention is of paramount importance as we interact with and navigate our way through the visual environment. Most models aimed at explaining the guidance of visual attention incorporate a priority map, in which the attentional priority of objects or locations in space is represented. I will present evidence from our lab that suggests that the lateral intraparietal area (LIP) of posterior parietal cortex acts as a priority map. Our data
show that neuronal responses in LIP are biased by salience and by task relevance, that the responses of many neurons are inhibited by a mechanism akin to inhibition-of-return and that the responses to distractors differ depending on what the subject is looking for. I will also show that raw LIP activity is insufficient to explain behavior, suggesting that its interaction with other priority maps, such as the frontal eye field, is critical in guiding visual attention.