Intrinsic neuronal dynamics predict distinct functional roles during working memory
Dante Francisco Wasmuht, Eelke Spaak, Timothy J. Buschman, Earl K. Miller, Mark G. Stokes

Working memory (WM) is characterized by the ability to maintain stable representations over time; however, neural activity associated with WM maintenance can be highly dynamic. We explore whether complex population coding dynamics during WM relate to the intrinsic temporal properties of single neurons in lateral prefrontal cortex (lPFC), the frontal eye fields (FEF) and lateral intraparietal cortex (LIP) of two monkeys (Macaca mulatta). We found that cells with short timescales carried memory information relatively early during memory encoding in lPFC; whereas long timescale cells played a greater role later during processing, dominating coding in the delay period. We also observed a link between functional connectivity at rest and intrinsic timescale in FEF and LIP. Our results indicate that individual differences in the temporal processing capacity predicts complex neuronal dynamics during WM; ranging from rapid dynamic encoding of stimuli to slower, but stable, maintenance of mnemonic information.

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.