Monthly
288 pp. per issue
6 x 9, illustrated
ISSN
0899-7667
E-ISSN
1530-888X
2014 Impact factor:
2.21

Neural Computation

September 1, 2001, Vol. 13, No. 9, Pages 2031-2047
(doi: 10.1162/089976601750399290)
© 2001 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Attention Modulation of Neural Tuning Through Peak and Base Rate
Article PDF (197.79 KB)
Abstract

This study investigates the influence of attention modulation on neural tuning functions. It has been shown in experiments that attention modulation alters neural tuning curves. Attention has been considered at least to serve to resolve limiting capacities and to increase the sensitivity to attended stimulus, while the exact functions of attention are still under debate. Inspired by recent experimental results on attention modulation, we investigate the influence of changes in the height and base rate of the tuning curve on the encoding accuracy, using the Fisher information. Under an assumption of stimulus-conditional independence of neural responses, we derive explicit conditions that determine when the height and base rate should be increased or decreased to improve encoding accuracy. Notably, a decrease in the tuning height and base rate can improve the encoding accuracy in some cases. Our theoretical results can predict the effective size of attention modulation on the neural population with respect to encoding accuracy. We discuss how our method can be used quantitatively to evaluate different aspects of attention function.