University of Chicago Big Ideas Generator


Big Question: Coordination of parietal and temporal cortices for visual recognition and attention

University of Chicago Big Questions

Principal Investigator: Dave Freedman, Neurobiology

Funding Type: Vision

Focus Area: Cognition

Big Idea: This project aims to understand the brain mechanisms that underlie the coordination of visual recognition and attention, functions which are known to rely on neuronal processing in temporal and parietal brain areas. While most work in cognitive neurophysiology examines neuronal activity in isolated cortical areas, this project aims to move toward a larger scale understanding of brain-wide neuronal circuits. To do so, we will employ a combination of neurophysiological, imaging, and behavioral approaches to examine the mechanisms by which activity is coordinated between temporal and parietal cortices during performance of visual recognition and attention tasks.  Diffusion tensor imaging will be used to identify neuronal fiber pathways throughout the brain, revealing direct anatomical interconnections between subregions of parietal and temporal cortices. This anatomical information will be used to guide neuronal electrode recordings toward interconnected cortical areas, revealing the patterns of interactions and information flow between neuronal ensembles during complex visually-guided behavior. 

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