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Nat Neurosci. 2002 Feb;5(2):175-80.

A role for inhibition in shaping the temporal flow of information in prefrontal cortex.

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Department of Neurobiology, Yale University School of Medicine, P.O. Box 208001, 333 Cedar Street, SHM B404, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8001, USA.


The prefrontal cortex is important in guiding or inhibiting future responses, which requires the temporal integration of events and which provides continuity to the thought process. No cellular mechanism has been proposed to explain how the mental representation of a response or idea is linked to the next. Using simultaneous recordings in monkeys, we revealed inhibitory interactions between neurons active at different time points relative to the cue presentation, delay interval and response period of a working memory task. These findings suggest an important role of inhibition in the cerebral cortex-controlling the timing of neuronal activities during cognitive operations and thereby shaping the temporal flow of information.

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