A collaborative study of attention involving Ron Mangun at the Center for Mind & Brain and Farran Briggs and Marty Usrey at the Center for Neuroscience was recently published in Nature. The study examined how visual attention influences the flow of information through the visual system in macaque monkeys. Using state-of-the-art methods, the research team found that attention increases the probability that a spike arising from the LGN (a relay station between the retina and the cerebral cortex) leads to a spike in primary visual cortex. This is a major step forward in understanding how attention influences the efficacy of neurotransmission at precisely defined synapses.
See the press release at: http://news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_detail.lasso?id=10645
See the Nature paper at: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature12276.html