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Data from: Laminar microcircuitry of visual cortex producing attention-associated electric fields

Cite this dataset

Westerberg, Jacob et al. (2022). Data from: Laminar microcircuitry of visual cortex producing attention-associated electric fields [Dataset]. Dryad.


Cognitive operations are widely studied by measuring electric fields through EEG and ECoG. However, despite their widespread use, the neural circuitry giving rise to these signals remains unknown because the functional architecture of cortical columns producing attention-associated electric fields has not been explored. Here, we detail the laminar cortical circuitry underlying an attention-associated electric field measured over posterior regions of the brain in humans and monkeys. First, we identified visual cortical area V4 as one plausible contributor to this attention-associated electric field through inverse modeling of cranial EEG in macaque monkeys performing a visual attention task. Next, we performed laminar neurophysiological recordings on the prelunate gyrus and identified the electric-field-producing dipoles as synaptic activity in distinct cortical layers of area V4. Specifically, activation in the extragranular layers of cortex resulted in the generation of the attention-associated dipole. Feature selectivity of a given cortical column determined the overall contribution to this electric field. Columns selective for the attended feature contributed more to the electric field than columns selective for a different feature. Last, the laminar profile of synaptic activity generated by V4 was sufficient to produce an attention-associated signal measurable outside of the column. These findings suggest that the top-down recipient cortical layers produce an attention-associated electric field that can be measured extracortically with the relative contribution of each column depending upon the underlying functional architecture.


Data were collected using linear multielectrode arrays positioned orthogonal to area V4 in the prelunate gyrus of two macaque monkeys performing a visual search task.

Usage notes

Data are formatted for use in MATLAB. ReadMe contains information pertinent to the dataset variables.


National Eye Institute, Award: F31EY031293

National Eye Institute, Award: P30EY008126

National Eye Institute, Award: R01EY008890

National Eye Institute, Award: R01EY019882

National Eye Institute, Award: R01EY027402

National Eye Institute, Award: T32EY007135

Office of the Director, Award: S10OD021771