A group of researchers including Ken-chi Morishige from ATR and Toyama Prefectural University reveal that separate neural mechanism in the same cortical regions control visual attention and eye movements differently by using MEG denoising and decoding method.
Although humans can direct their attention to visual targets with or without eye movements, it remains unclear how different brain mechanisms control visual attention and eye movements together and/or separately. The researchers examined the relationship between mechanisms that govern maintenance of attention at a moving object and mechanisms that govern maintenance of fixation on moving object, by investigating generalization ability of machine-learning-based predictive models from MEG signals to the target motion. As a result, common cortical areas control visual attention and eye movements, even though the two functions employ different neural mechanisms in the same cortical regions. It is also expected that this machine-learning-based approach may be useful to investigate the time series of brain information noninvasively.
Common cortical areas have different neural mechanisms for covert and overt visual pursuits
DOI : 10.1038/s41598-021-93259-9
Ken-ichi Morishige, Nobuo Hiroe, Masa-aki Sato & Mitsuo Kawato