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Nat Neurosci. 1998 Aug;1(4):310-7.

Inter-trial neuronal activity in inferior temporal cortex: a putative vehicle to generate long-term visual associations.

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Department of Neurobiology, Institute of Life Science, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel.


When monkeys perform a delayed match-to-sample task, some neurons in the anterior inferotemporal cortex show sustained activity following the presentation of specific visual stimuli, typically only those that are shown repeatedly. When sample stimuli are shown in a fixed temporal order, the few images that evoke delay activity in a given neuron are often neighboring stimuli in the sequence, suggesting that this delay activity may be the neural correlate of associative long-term memory. Here we report that stimulus-selective sustained activity is also evident following the presentation of the test stimulus in the same task. We use a neural network model to demonstrate that persistent stimulus-selective activity across the intertrial interval can lead to similar mnemonic representations (distributions of delay activity across the neural population) for neighboring visual stimuli. Thus, inferotemporal cortex may contain neural machinery for generating long-term stimulus-stimulus associations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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