Behavioral choice-related neuronal activity in monkey primary somatosensory cortex in a haptic delay task.
ABSTRACT The neuronal activity in the primary somatosensory cortex was collected when monkeys performed a haptic-haptic DMS task. We found that, in trials with correct task performance, a substantial number of cells showed significant differential neural activity only when the monkeys had to make a choice between two different haptic objects. Such a difference in neural activity was significantly reduced in incorrect response trials. However, very few cells showed the choice-only differential neural activity in monkeys who performed a control task that was identical to the haptic-haptic task but did not require the animal to either actively memorize the sample or make a choice between two objects at the end of a trial. From these results, we infer that the differential activity recorded from cells in the primary somatosensory cortex in correct performance reflects the neural process of behavioral choice, and therefore, it is a neural correlate of decision-making when the animal has to make a haptic choice.
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ABSTRACT: Microelectrode recordings of cortical activity in primates performing working memory tasks reveal some cortical neurons exhibiting sustained or graded persistent elevations in firing rate during the period in which sensory information is actively maintained in short-term memory. These neurons are called "memory cells". Imaging and transcranial magnetic stimulation studies indicate that memory cells may arise from distributed cortical networks. Depending on the sensory modality of the memorandum in working memory tasks, neurons exhibiting memory-correlated patterns of firing have been detected in different association cortices including prefrontal cortex, and primary sensory cortices as well. Here we elaborate on neurophysiological experiments that lead to our understanding of the neuromechanisms of working memory, and mainly discuss findings on widely distributed cortical networks involved in tactile working memory.Journal of Physiology-Paris 06/2013; · 2.35 Impact Factor