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Nat Neurosci. 2013 Aug;16(8):1132-9. doi: 10.1038/nn.3433. Epub 2013 Jun 23.

Signals in inferotemporal and perirhinal cortex suggest an untangling of visual target information.

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Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.


Finding sought visual targets requires our brains to flexibly combine working memory information about what we are looking for with visual information about what we are looking at. To investigate the neural computations involved in finding visual targets, we recorded neural responses in inferotemporal cortex (IT) and perirhinal cortex (PRH) as macaque monkeys performed a task that required them to find targets in sequences of distractors. We found similar amounts of total task-specific information in both areas; however, information about whether a target was in view was more accessible using a linear read-out or, equivalently, was more untangled in PRH. Consistent with the flow of information from IT to PRH, we also found that task-relevant information arrived earlier in IT. PRH responses were well-described by a functional model in which computations in PRH untangle input from IT by combining neurons with asymmetric tuning correlations for target matches and distractors.

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