Chapter

Cognitive Focus through Adaptive Neural Coding in the Primate Prefrontal Cortex

John Duncan and Earl K. Miller

in Principles of Frontal Lobe Function

Published in print August 2002 | ISBN: 9780195134971
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199864157 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195134971.003.0018
Cognitive Focus through Adaptive Neural Coding in the Primate Prefrontal Cortex

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This chapter presents some rather different ideas about the organization of the prefrontal cortex. Rather than fixed functional specialization, it emphasizes adaptability of neural coding to fit a behavioral context. In particular, it presents both neuroimaging and single-unit electrophysiological evidence to suggest that, in selected regions of the prefrontal cortex, neurons adapt their properties to code just that information of relevance to current behavior. This adaptation is a major contributor to the achievement of cognitive focus and control. Although this adaptive coding model recognizes important regional specializations within the prefrontal cortex, it suggests a perspective on these that is rather different from that presumed in the traditional divide-and-conquer approach.

Keywords: prefrontal cortex; neural coding; neurons; adaptation

Chapter.  8085 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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