Paired neuron recordings in the prefrontal and inferotemporal cortices reveal that spatial selection precedes object identification during visual search

Ilya E. Monosov, David L. Sheinberg, Kirk G. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

We addressed the question of how we locate and identify objects in complex natural environments by simultaneously recording single neurons from two brain regions that play different roles in this familiar activity - the frontal eye field (FEF), an area in the prefrontal cortex that is involved in visual spatial selection, and the inferotemporal cortex (IT), which is involved in object recognition - in monkeys performing a covert visual search task. Although the monkeys reported object identity, not location, neural activity specifying target location was evident in FEF before neural activity specifying target identity in IT. These two distinct processes were temporally correlated implying a functional linkage between the end stages of "where" and "what" visual processing and indicating that spatial selection is necessary for the formation of complex object representations associated with visual perception.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13105-13110
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume107
Issue number29
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 20 2010

Keywords

  • Attention
  • Cognition
  • Object recognition
  • Perception

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