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Paper   IPM / Cognitive Sciences / 15145
School of Cognitive Sciences
  Title:   Working Memory Enhances Cortical Representations via Spatially Specific Coordination of Spike Times
1.  Z. Bahmani
2.  M.R. Daliri
3.  Y. Merrikhi
4.  K. Clark
5.  B. Noudoost
  Status:   Published
  Journal: Neuron
  Vol.:  97
  Year:  2018
  Pages:   967-979
  Supported by:  IPM
The online maintenance and manipulation of information in working memory (WM) is essential for guiding behavior based on our goals. Understanding how WM alters sensory processing in pursuit of different behavioral objectives is therefore crucial to establish the neural basis of our goal-directed behavior. Here we show that, in the middle temporal (MT) area of rhesus monkeys, the power of the local field potentials in the αβ band (8–25 Hz) increases, reflecting the remembered location and the animal’s performance. Moreover, the content of WM determines how coherently MT sites oscillate and how synchronized spikes are relative to these oscillations. These changes in spike timing are not only sufficient to carry sensory and memory information, they can also account for WM-induced sensory enhancement. These results provide a mechanistic-level understanding of how WM alters sensory processing by coordinating the timing of spikes across the neuronal population, enhancing the sensory representation of WM targets.

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