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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2000 Apr;10(2):187-94.

Neural representation of visual objects: encoding and top-down activation.

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Department of Physiology, University of Tokyo School of Medicine, Bunkyo-ku, 113-0033, Japan.


Knowledge or experiences are voluntarily recalled from memory by reactivation of their neural representations in the association cortex. Mnemonic representations of visual objects, located in the ventral processing stream of visual perception, provide the best indication of how neuronal codes are created, organized and reactivated. Associative codes are created by neurons that have the ability to link the representations of temporally associated stimuli. Recent experiments suggest that not only bottom-up signals from the retina but also top-down signals from the prefrontal cortex can trigger the retrieval of associative codes, which may serve as a neural basis for conscious recall.

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