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Neural mechanisms for memory-guided visual search.
Desimone, R., Chelazzi, L., Miller, E.K. & Duncan, J.D.
In B. Albowitz, K. Albus, U. Kuhnt, H.- Ch. Nothdurft & P. Wahle (Eds), Structural and Functional Organization of the Neocortex., pp.279-285, Berlin: Springer-Verlag
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This brief paper summarizes recent neurophysiological findings concerning visual memory and visual search, obtained through recording from single cells of temporal and frontal cortex in trained monkeys. Two kinds of activity are reported related to memory. When current stimuli are similar to those seen in the immediate or longer-term past, responses in inferotemporal (IT) cortex are generally suppressed. In contrast, IT cells may be enhanced when the animal holds a particular stimulus actively in short-term memory; this type of activity is even stronger in the frontal lobe. In visual search, memory for the target must control the direction of attention. In IT this is reflected in suppression of responses to stimuli not matching the remembered cue. Such suppression may arise through competition between cell populations responding selectively to targets and to nontargets.