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Integration of What and Where in the Primate Prefrontal Cortex

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Science  02 May 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5313, pp. 821-824
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5313.821

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Abstract

The visual system separates processing of an object’s form and color (“what”) from its spatial location (“where”). In order to direct action to objects, the identity and location of those objects must somehow be integrated. To examine whether this process occurs within the prefrontal (PF) cortex, the activity of 195 PF neurons was recorded during a task that engaged both what and where working memory. Some neurons showed either object-tuned (what) or location-tuned (where) delay activity. However, over half (52 percent, or 64/123) of the PF neurons with delay activity showed both what and where tuning. These neurons may contribute to the linking of object information with the spatial information needed to guide behavior.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: ekm{at}ai.mit.edu

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