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Neuroreport. 2007 May 7;18(7):703-7.

Prediction of relative and absolute time of reward in monkey prefrontal neurons.

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Laboratory of Cognitive Neurobiology, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Sapporo, Japan.


We studied single-neuron activity in the monkey dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during a saccade task, in which correct responses were rewarded after a delay of 0.5 or 1.5 s in one trial-block, and after 1.5 or 3-s delay in the other trial-block. Activity of some neurons depended on the relative length of the delays (longer or shorter) within each block, and activity for the 1.5-s trials was significantly different between the blocks. Activity of another group of neurons reflected the absolute length of delay: hence, the activity in the 1.5-s trials did not differ between the blocks. These results indicate that both relative and absolute time of future reward is represented in subsets of neurons in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.

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