Our research goal is to characterize the neural dynamics in brain networks supporting cognitive control and conscious awareness.
The lab investigates three major research questions. First, how do we execute cognitive control, including selective attention, rule-guided behavior, mental set shifting and memory processes? Second, what are the neural differences between conscious, anesthetized and sleep states? Third, how does the brain code information and regulate information transmission?
We combine neuroimaging and electrophysiology to investigate these questions. We map brain networks using functional MRI and diffusion MRI. Next, we simultaneously record neural activity from interconnected network sites in behaving macaques (single-units, local field potentials, microstimulation) and human subjects (intracranial electrocorticography). Our focus is on interactions between neurons in the cerebral cortex, basal ganglia and thalamus.
Mohanta S, Afrasiabi M, Casey C, Tanabe S, Redinbaugh MJ, Kambi NA, Phillips JM, Polyakov D, Filbey W, Austerweil JL, Sanders RD, Saalmann YB (2021) Predictive feedback, early sensory representations and fast responses to predicted stimuli depend on NMDA receptors. Journal of Neuroscience 41: 10130-10147.
Afrasiabi M, Redinbaugh MJ, Phillips JM, Kambi NA, Mohanta S, Raz A, Haun AM, Saalmann YB (2021) Integrated network of parietal cortex, striatum and thalamus predicts level of consciousness. Cell Systems 12: 363-373.
Redinbaugh MJ, Phillips JM, Kambi NA, Mohanta S, Andryk S, Dooley GL, Afrasiabi M, Raz A, Saalmann YB (2020) Thalamus modulates consciousness via layer-specific control of cortex. Neuron 106: 66-75.
Phillips JM*, Kambi NA*, Saalmann YB (2016) A subcortical pathway for rapid, goal-driven, attentional filtering. Trends in Neurosciences 39: 49-51 (*equal contributions).
Szczepanski SM, Pinsk MA, Douglas MM, Kastner S, Saalmann YB (2013) Functional and structural architecture of the human dorsal frontoparietal attention network. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 110: 15806-15811.
Fiebelkorn IC, Saalmann YB, Kastner S (2013) Rhythmic sampling within and between objects despite sustained attention at a cued location. Current Biology 23: 2553-2558.
Wang L*, Saalmann YB*, Pinsk MA, Arcaro MJ, Kastner S (2012) Electrophysiological low-frequency coherence and cross-frequency coupling contributes to BOLD connectivity. Neuron 76: 1010-1020 (*equal contributions).
Saalmann YB, Pinsk MA, Wang L, Li X, Kastner S (2012) The pulvinar regulates information transmission between cortical areas based on attention demands. Science 337: 753-756.
Saalmann YB, Kastner S (2011) Cognitive and perceptual functions of the visual thalamus. Neuron 71: 209-223.
Saalmann YB, Kastner S (2009) Gain control in the visual thalamus during perception and cognition. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 19: 408-414.
Saalmann YB, Pigarev IN, Vidyasagar TR (2007) Neural mechanisms of visual attention: how top-down feedback highlights relevant locations. Science 316: 1612-1615.