Representation of Action Sequence Boundaries by Macaque Prefrontal Cortical Neurons

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Science  29 Aug 2003:
Vol. 301, Issue 5637, pp. 1246-1249
DOI: 10.1126/science.1086872

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Complex biological systems such as human language and the genetic code are characterized by explicit markers at the beginning and end of functional sequences. We report here that macaque prefrontal cortical neurons exhibit phasic peaks of spike activity that occur at the beginning and endpoint of sequential oculomotor saccade performance and have the properties of dynamic start- and end-state encoders accompanying responses to sequential actions. Sequence bounding may thus reflect a general mechanism for encoding biological information.

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