More evidence for mixed selectivity.  Mixed selectivity is “a neural encoding scheme in which different task variables and behavioral choices are combined indiscriminately in a non-linear fashion within the same population of neurons. This scheme generates a high-dimensional non-linear representational code that allows for a simple linear readout of multiple variables from the same network of neurons” (Fusi et al., 2016).  It adds computational horsepower to the brain.  In this case, the evidence is from human parietal cortex.

Zhang, C. Y., Aflalo, T., Revechkis, B., Rosario, E. R., Ouellette, D., Pouratian, N., & Andersen, R. A. (2017). Partially Mixed Selectivity in Human Posterior Parietal Association Cortex. Neuron.

For further reading:
Rigotti, M., Barak, O., Warden, M.R., Wang, X., Daw, N.D., Miller, E.K., & Fusi, S. (2013) The importance of mixed selectivity in complex cognitive tasks. Nature, 497, 585-590, doi:10.1038/nature12160. View PDF »

Fusi, S., Miller, E.K., and Rigotti, M. (2016) Why neurons mix: High dimensionality for higher cognition.  Current Opinion in Neurobiology. 37:66-74  doi:10.1016/j.conb.2016.01.010. View PDF »

A recent review by the late, great Howard Eichenbaum.  You’ll be missed, Howard.

Eichenbaum, H. (2017). Memory: organization and control. Annual review of psychology, 68, 19-45.

MEG study in humans shows the functional significance of high alpha-band synchrony for visual attention.

Lobier, M., Palva, J. M., & Palva, S. (2017). High-alpha band synchronization across frontal, parietal and visual cortex mediates behavioral and neuronal effects of visuospatial attention. bioRxiv, 165563.


A study of the 100th most-cited papers in Neuroscience identified Miller and Cohen (2001) as the 5th most cited paper (by total citations; 23rd if normalized by publications/year).

Yeung, A. W. K., Goto, T. K., & Leung, W. K. (2017). At the Leading Front of Neuroscience: A Bibliometric Study of the 100 Most-cited Articles. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 11, 363.

Miller, E.K. and Cohen, J.D. (2001) An integrative theory of prefrontal cortex function. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 24:167-202.  Designated a Current Classic by Thomson Scientific as among the most cited papers in Neuroscience and Behavior. View PDF »

Neupane et al show that alpha oscillations in area V4 link sites that encode the location of a stimulus before and after an eye movement.  The alpha oscillations can help create a stable representation of the visual world during eye movements.

Neupane, S., Guitton, D., & Pack, C. C. (2017). Coherent alpha oscillations link current and future receptive fields during saccades. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201701672.

12 Jul 2017
July 12, 2017

Welcome Meredith

Miller Laboratory

The Miller Lab welcomes new Lab Manager, Meredith Mahnke.  Glad to have you aboard.

You Asked: How Can I Use More of My Brain? Time, June 14, 2017


A model showing how neural coherence can flexibly route information.  If you have a better idea of what underlies cognitive flexibility, I’d like to hear it.

Flexible information routing by transient synchrony
Agostina Palmigiano, Theo Geisel, Fred Wolf & Demian Battaglia

Neurons in the prefrontal cortex keeps track of elapsed time (even though time was not explicitly relevant) via sequential firing of neurons.  The overlap of sequences depended on the degree of similarity of the item being held in memory.  The time-keeping showed a Weber-fraction-like decrease in precision as time passed.

Compressed timeline of recent experience in monkey lPFC
Zoran Tiganj, Jason A Cromer, Jefferson E Roy, Earl K Miller, Marc W Howard

Well said, Howard Eichenbaum.  Could agree more.  The time is nigh.

Eichenbaum, H. (2017). Barlow versus Hebb: When is it time to abandon the notion of feature detectors and adopt the cell assembly as the unit of cognition?. Neuroscience Letters.