The Prefrontal Cortex as a Model System to Understand Representation and Processing of Information
Working memory includes temporary active maintenance of information as well as processing of maintained information. Delay-period activity observed in the prefrontal cortex has been shown to be a neural correlate of the mechanism for short-term active maintenance of information. Using spatial working memory tasks, it was found that a great majority of delay-period activity represents retrospective information (e.g., the location of the visual cue) whereas a minority represents prospective information (e.g., the direction of the forthcoming movement). In addition, using population vector analysis using a population of prefrontal activities, the temporal progression of information processing can be seen as a temporal change of the direction as well as the length of the population vector during the delay period. The mechanism participating in the gradual change of information represented by a population of activities remains unresolved. However, functional interactions among neighboring neurons representing different information and dynamic modulation of these interactions depending on the context of the trial could be a mechanism of this process.
KeywordsPrefrontal Cortex Delay Period Neuron Pair DLPFC Activity DLPFC Neuron
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Baddeley A (1986) Working memory. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
- Baddeley AD, Hitch G (1974) Working memory. In: Bower GH (ed) The psychology of learning and motivation: advances in research and theory. Academic Press, New York, pp 47–89Google Scholar
- Fuster JM (1997) The prefrontal cortex: anatomy, physiology, and neuropsychology of the frontal lobe, 3rd edn. Lippincott-Raven, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
- Goldman-Rakic PS (1987) Circuitry of primate prefrontal cortex and regulation of behavior by representational memory. In: Plum F (ed) Higher functions of the brain, part 1. Handbook of physiology, section 1: the nervous system, vol V. American Physiological Society, Bethesda, MD, pp 373–417Google Scholar
- Goldman-Rakic PS (1998) The prefrontal landscape: implications of functional architecture for understanding human mentation and the central executive. In: Roberts AC, Robbins TW, Weiskrantz L (eds) The prefrontal cortex: executive and cognitive functions. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 87–102Google Scholar
- Jacobsen CF (1936) Studies of cerebral function in primates. I. The functions of the frontal association areas in monkeys. Comp Psychol Monogr 13:1–60Google Scholar
- Pandya DN, Barnes CL (1987) Architecture and connections of the frontal lobe. In: Perecman E (ed) The frontal lobes revisited. IRBN Press, New York, pp 41–72Google Scholar
- Petrides M (1994) Frontal lobes and working memory: evidence from investigations of the effects of cortical excisions in nonhuman primates. In: Boller F, Spinnler H, Hendler JA (eds) Handbook of neuropsychology, vol 9. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 59–82Google Scholar
- Stuss DT, Knight RT (2002) Principles of frontal lobe function. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar