Spatial working memory alters the efficacy of input to visual cortex


Prefrontal cortex modulates sensory signals in extrastriate visual cortex, in part via its direct projections from the frontal eye field (FEF), an area involved in selective attention. We find that working memory-related activity is a dominant signal within FEF input to visual cortex. Although this signal alone does not evoke spiking responses in areas V4 and MT during memory, the gain of visual responses in these areas increases, and neuronal receptive fields expand and shift towards the remembered location, improving the stimulus representation by neuronal populations. These results provide a basis for enhancing the representation of working memory targets and implicate persistent FEF activity as a basis for the interdependence of working memory and selective attention.




Merrikhi, Yaser, Kelsey Clark, Eddy Albarran, Mohammadbagher Parsa, Marc Zirnsak, Tirin Moore, and Behrad Noudoost. "Spatial working memory alters the efficacy of input to visual cortex." Nature Communications 8 (April 2017). DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15041.
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