Responses of neurons in lateral intraparietal area depend on stimulus-associated reward during binocular flash suppression

Hamed Bahmani, Qinglin Li, Nikos K. Logothetis, Georgios A. Keliris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Discovering neural correlates of subjective perception and dissociating them from sensory input has fascinated neuroscientists for a long time. Bistable and multistable perception phenomena have exhibited great experimental potential to address this question. Here, we performed electrophysiological recordings from single neurons in lateral intraparietal area (LIP) of rhesus macaques during stimulus and perceptual transitions induced by binocular flash suppression (BFS). LIP neurons demonstrated transient bursts of activity after stimulus presentation and stimulus or perceptual switches but only a minority of cells demonstrated stimulus and perceptual selectivity. To enhance LIP neural selectivity, we performed a second experiment in which the competing stimuli were associated with asymmetric rewards. We found that transient and sustained activities substantially increased while the proportion of stimulus selective neurons remained approximately the same, albeit with increased selectivity magnitude. In addition, we observed mild increases in the proportion of perceptually selective neurons which also showed increase magnitude of selectivity. Importantly, the increased selectivity of cells after the reward manipulation was not directly reflecting the reward size per se but an enhancement in stimulus differentiation. Based on our results, we conjecture that LIP contributes to perceptual transitions and serves a modulatory role in perceptual selection taking into account the stimulus behavioral value.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9
JournalFrontiers in Systems Neuroscience
Early online date12 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • BFS
  • Electrophysiology
  • LIP
  • Parietal cortex
  • Reward
  • Visual perception


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