Discharge synchrony during the transition of behavioral goal representations encoded by discharge rates of prefrontal neurons

Kazuhiro Sakamoto, Hajime Mushiake, Naohiro Saito, Kazuyuki Aihara, Masafumi Yano, Jun Tanji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To investigate the temporal relationship between synchrony in the discharge of neuron pairs and modulation of the discharge rate, we recorded the neuronal activity of the lateral prefrontal cortex of monkeys performing a behavioral task that required them to plan an immediate goal of action to attain a final goal. Information about the final goal was retrieved via visual instruction signals, whereas information about the immediate goal was generated internally. The synchrony of neuron pair discharges was analyzed separately from changes in the firing rate of individual neurons during a preparatory period. We focused on neuron pairs that exhibited a representation of the final goal followed by a representation of the immediate goal at a later stage. We found that changes in synchrony and discharge rates appeared to be complementary at different phases of the behavioral task. Synchrony was maximized during a specific phase in the preparatory period corresponding to a transitional stage when the neuronal activity representing the final goal was replaced with that representing the immediate goal. We hypothesize that the transient increase in discharge synchrony is an indication of a process that facilitates dynamic changes in the prefrontal neural circuits in order to undergo profound state changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2036-2045
Number of pages10
JournalCerebral Cortex
Volume18
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Sep 1

Keywords

  • Behavioral goal
  • Monkey
  • Prefrontal cortex
  • Synchrony
  • Temporal coding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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