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Phase-dependent neuronal coding of objects in short-term memory

Summary: Phase-dependent neuronal coding of objects
in short-term memory
Markus Siegel1
, Melissa R. Warden, and Earl K. Miller
The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139
Edited by Robert Desimone, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, and approved September 30, 2009 (received for review July 21, 2009)
The ability to hold multiple objects in memory is fundamental to
intelligent behavior, but its neural basis remains poorly under-
stood. It has been suggested that multiple items may be held in
memory by oscillatory activity across neuronal populations, but yet
there is little direct evidence. Here, we show that neuronal infor-
mation about two objects held in short-term memory is enhanced
at specific phases of underlying oscillatory population activity. We
recorded neuronal activity from the prefrontal cortices of monkeys
remembering two visual objects over a brief interval. We found
that during this memory interval prefrontal population activity
was rhythmically synchronized at frequencies around 32 and 3 Hz
and that spikes carried the most information about the memorized
objects at specific phases. Further, according to their order of
presentation, optimal encoding of the first presented object was


Source: Andrzejak, Ralph Gregor - Departament de Tecnologia, Universitat Pompeu Fabra


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences