Genovesio et al show that neurons in the prefrontal cortex can encode stimulus duration and distance.  Importantly, neural selectivity was highly context dependent.  Neurons seemed to have different, unrelated, selectivity in different behavioral contexts  This adds to growing evidence that PFC neurons are not simple filters or have single “triggers”.  Instead, PFC neurons are non-linear multitaskers that participate in many different neural ensembles.

Genovesio, Aldo, et al. “Context-Dependent Duration Signals in the Primate Prefrontal Cortex.” Cerebral Cortex (2015): bhv156.

Further reading:
Yuste, Rafael. “From the neuron doctrine to neural networks.” Nature Reviews Neuroscience (2015).

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

About the Author

The Miller Lab uses experimental and theoretical approaches to study the neural basis of the high-level cognitive functions that underlie complex goal-directed behavior.