Neural changes after training to perform cognitive tasks
ABSTRACT Cognitive operationsrequiring working memory rely on the activity of neurons in areas of the association cortex, most prominently the lateral prefrontal cortex. Human imaging and animal neurophysiological studies indicate that this activity is shaped by learning, though much is unknown about how much training alters neural activity and cortical organization. Results from non-human primates demonstrate that prior to any training in cognitive tasks, prefrontal neurons respond to stimuli, exhibit persistent activity after their offset, and differentiate between matching and non-matching stimuli presented in sequence. A number of important changes also occur after training in a working memory task. More neurons are recruited by the stimuli and exhibit higher firing rates, particularly during the delay period. Operant stimuli that need to be recognized in order to perform the task elicit higher overall rates of responses, while the variability of individual discharges and correlation of discharges between neurons decrease after training. New information is incorporated in the activity of a small population of neuronshighly specialized for the task and in a larger population of neurons that exhibit modest task related information, while information about other aspects of stimuli remains present in neuronal activity. Despite such changes, the relative selectivity of the dorsal and ventral aspect of the lateral prefrontal cortex is not radically altered with regard to spatial and non-spatial stimuli after training. Collectively, these results provide insights on the nature and limits of cortical plasticity mediating cognitive tasks.
SourceAvailable from: Charles G GrossJournal of Neurophysiology 02/1972; 35(1):96-111. · 3.04 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Nerve cells in the monkey's prefrontal cortex and nucleus medialis dorsalis of the thalamus show changes of firing frequency associated with the performance of a delayed response test. Most cells increase firing during the cue presentation period or at the beginning of the ensuing delay; spike discharge highler than that in intertrial periods is present in some cells throughout the delay. These changes are interpreted as suggestive evidence of a role of frontothalamic circuits in the attentive process involved in short-term memoryScience 09/1971; 173(3997):652-4. DOI:10.1126/science.173.3997.652 · 31.48 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The projections to the frontal cortex from the various subdivisions of the posterior parietal region in the rhesus monkey were studied by means of autoradiographic technique. The rostral superior parietal lobule (area PE) projects to the dorsal areas 4 and 6 on the lateral surface of the frontal lobe as well as to the supplementary motor area (MII) on its medial surface. The caudal area PE sends its connections to dorsal area 6 and MII. The projections from the medial parietal cortex (areas PEc and PGm) are similar to those of the superior parietal lobule but they tend to concentrate in the more rostral part of dorsal area 6, MII, and in the cingulate gyrus (area 24). The most caudal part of the medial parietal cortex also projects to area 8. The anteriormost part of the inferior parietal lobule (area PF) projects to the ventral area 6, including the caudal bank of the lower branch of the arcuate sulcus, to the ventral area 46 below the sulcus principalis, and to the frontal and pericentral opercular cortex. The middle inferior parietal lobule (areas PFG and PG) projects to the ventral part of area 46 and area 8, whilst the posteriormost inferior parietal lobule (caudal PG and area Opt) is connected with both dorsal and ventral area 46, dorsal area 8, as well as the anteriormost dorsal area 6, and the cingulate gyrus (area 24).The Journal of Comparative Neurology 09/1984; 228(1):105-16. DOI:10.1002/cne.902280110 · 3.51 Impact Factor