1. Neuroscience
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Dissociable laminar profiles of concurrent bottom-up and top-down modulation in the human visual cortex

  1. Samuel JD Lawrence
  2. David G Norris
  3. Floris P de Lange  Is a corresponding author
  1. Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands
Research Article
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Cite this article as: eLife 2019;8:e44422 doi: 10.7554/eLife.44422

Abstract

Recent developments in human neuroimaging make it possible to non-invasively measure neural activity from different cortical layers. This can potentially reveal not only which brain areas are engaged by a task, but also how. Specifically, bottom-up and top-down responses are associated with distinct laminar profiles. Here, we measured lamina-resolved fMRI responses during a visual task designed to induce concurrent bottom-up and top-down modulations via orthogonal manipulations of stimulus contrast and feature-based attention. BOLD responses were modulated by both stimulus contrast (bottom-up) and by engaging feature-based attention (top-down). Crucially, these effects operated at different cortical depths: Bottom-up modulations were strongest in the middle cortical layer and weaker in deep and superficial layers, while top-down modulations were strongest in the superficial layers. As such, we demonstrate that laminar activity profiles can discriminate between concurrent top-down and bottom-up processing, and are diagnostic of how a brain region is activated.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Samuel JD Lawrence

    Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, Netherlands
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  2. David G Norris

    Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, Netherlands
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  3. Floris P de Lange

    Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, Netherlands
    For correspondence
    floris.delange@donders.ru.nl
    Competing interests
    Floris P de Lange, Reviewing editor, eLife.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-6730-1452

Funding

Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (Vidi)

  • Floris P de Lange

European Research Council Starting Grant (CONTEXTVISION)

  • Floris P de Lange

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Ethics

Human subjects: All participants gave written informed consent and the study was approved by the local ethics committees (CMO region Arnhem-Nijmegen, The Netherlands, and ethics committee of the University Duisburg-Essen, Germany). Protocol CMO 2014/288

Reviewing Editor

  1. Christian Büchel, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany

Publication history

  1. Received: December 14, 2018
  2. Accepted: May 3, 2019
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: May 7, 2019 (version 1)

Copyright

© 2019, Lawrence et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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