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J Neurosci. 1999 Dec 1;19(23):10404-16.

Responses of macaque perirhinal neurons during and after visual stimulus association learning.

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Laboratory of Neuropsychology, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-4415, USA.


Recent lesion studies have implicated the perirhinal cortex in learning that two objects are associated, i.e., visual association learning. In this experiment we tested whether neuronal responses to associated stimuli in perirhinal cortex are altered over the course of learning. Neurons were recorded from monkeys during performance of a visual discrimination task in which a predictor stimulus was followed, after a delay, by a GO or NO-GO choice stimulus. Association learning had two major influences on neuronal responses. First, responses to frequently paired predictor-choice stimuli were more similar to one another than was the case with infrequently paired stimuli. Second, the magnitude of activity during the delay was correlated with the magnitude of responses to both the predictor and choice stimuli. Both of these learning effects were found only for stimulus pairs that had been associated on at least 2 d of training. Early in training, the delay activity was correlated only with the response to the predictor stimuli. Thus, with long-term training, perirhinal neurons tend to link the representations of temporally associated stimuli.

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