Spatial Attention: dissecting the cortical and subcortical circuitry during rapid routing of sensory information

We are constantly inundated with a barrage of sensory information. In an instant, however, a tiny critical fraction of this sensory world is relevant for taking action. Our brains must select out the critical input and use it to guide behavioural response. We often call this selection process attention. Critically, from a human health perspective, deficits in attention is a common characteristic of both neurological (Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s disease) and neuropsychiatric disorders (ADHD & schizophrenia). It is imperative that we elucidate the fundamental neuroscience underlying the critical function. We aim to understand the neural basis for the modulation of sensory processing by visual spatial attention. By developing the first spatial attention task in the genetically mouse model will will dissect the underlying cortical & subcortical circuitry, and reveal new fundamental principles controlling rapid changes sensory information processing in the brain.

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