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J Neurophysiol. 1994 Mar;71(3):1206-21.

Visual response properties of single neurons in the temporal pole of behaving monkeys.

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Department of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Kyoto University, Aichi, Japan.


1. The responses of single neurons in the anterior part of the temporal cortex in monkeys, mainly the temporopolar cortex, area 36, and the most anterior part of area TE of von Bonin and Bailey (1947) (these areas were designated here as the temporal pole), were examined during the performance of a visual recognition memory task. The visual stimulus (sample stimulus) was presented when the monkey pressed a lever. The same sample stimulus was presented one to four times and, thereafter, a new stimulus was presented. The monkeys were trained to discriminate the new stimulus from the sample stimulus and to release the lever in response to the new stimulus. We used colored photographs of natural objects (human faces, monkeys, foods, and non-food objects) as complex visual stimuli or computer-generated two-dimensional shapes (a red square, a green circle, etc.) as simple visual stimuli. 2. In total, the activity of 311 neurons was recorded, and 225 of these responded to at least one visual stimulus. All visually responsive neurons were located in the ventral part of the temporal pole including the banks of the superior temporal sulcus. 3. The relationship between the monkey's eye movements and visual responses was investigated. Visual response properties, such as the number of spikes, onset latency, and response duration, were stable regardless of the monkey's eye positions and movements if the eyes were directed to the display. We also examined the receptive field property of neurons (n = 3). The neurons tested in the temporal pole tended to have a large receptive field (24 x 24 degrees). 4. The neurons tended to respond to different stimuli in different magnitudes. In each case, the maximal responses were elicited by complex, colored photographs, whereas simple, two-dimensional colored shapes elicited little or no responses. In 21% of the cases (47/225), the magnitude of the maximal response was significantly larger than for any of the other responses. 5. An achromatic version of the stimulus that induced the maximal response was tested in 53 neurons. About 80% of the neurons (41/53) responded to the achromatic stimulus at a magnitude that was not significantly different from the response to the original stimulus. In 12 neurons, the removal of color did significantly decrease the magnitude of the response. When other colors were tested, 3 of 9 neurons were found to code for color. 6. In 21 of these 53 neurons, a portion (the left-, right-, upper-, or lower-half) of the stimulus was also tested.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS).

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