The goal of my research program is to better understand how large-scale networks operate during cognition. We use the visual attention network as a model network. Our work is guided by the questions how large-scale networks set up efficient communication and which neural code is used in different network nodes to drive behavior. We study these issues in two primate brain models, the human and the macaque monkey, using an integrated and complimentary methods approach of invasive electrophysiology (Electrocorticography in human epilepsy patients [together with Bob Knight, UC Berkeley, and Josef Parvizi, Stanford] and simultaneous multi-site recordings in monkeys) with several brain imaging modalities (functional magnetic resonance imaging, diffusion tensor imaging). Our studies in the two primate brain models are done in comparison using tasks that elicit common behavior. Additional lines of research in the lab include the neural basis of attentional selection from natural scenes, the functional parcellation of the human parietal cortex, the topographic organization of the human visual system, and the neural basis of object perception (including studies with patients suffering from object agnosia and amnesia together with Marlene Behrmann, Carnegie Mellon).
Szczepanski SM, Kastner S (2013): Shifting attentional priorities: Control of spatial attention through hemispheric competition. J. Neurosci. 33: 5411-5421.
Fiebelkorn IC, Saalmann YB, Kastner S (2013): Sustained spatial selection leads to an interplay of periodic behavioral effects defined by object boundaries. Current Biology 23: 2553-2558.
Saalmann YB, Pinsk MA, Wang L, Li X, Kastner S (2012): Pulvinar regulates information transmission between cortical areas according to attentional demands. Science 337: 753-756.
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.
Saalmann Y, Kastner S (2011): Cognitive and perceptual functions of the thalamus. Neuron 71: 209-223.