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Title: Prefrontal cortex and neural mechanisms of executive function.
Authors: Funahashi, Shintaro  KAKEN_id
Andreau, Jorge Mario
Author's alias: 船橋, 新太郎
Keywords: Top-down signal
Working memory
Pair selectivity
Paired associate
Issue Date: Dec-2013
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd.
Journal title: Journal of physiology, Paris
Volume: 107
Issue: 6
Start page: 471
End page: 482
Abstract: Executive function is a product of the coordinated operation of multiple neural systems and an essential prerequisite for a variety of cognitive functions. The prefrontal cortex is known to be a key structure for the performance of executive functions. To accomplish the coordinated operations of multiple neural systems, the prefrontal cortex must monitor the activities in other cortical and subcortical structures and control and supervise their operations by sending command signals, which is called top-down signaling. Although neurophysiological and neuroimaging studies have provided evidence that the prefrontal cortex sends top-down signals to the posterior cortices to control information processing, the neural correlate of these top-down signals is not yet known. Through use of the paired association task, it has been demonstrated that top-down signals are used to retrieve specific information stored in long-term memory. Therefore, we used a paired association task to examine the neural correlates of top-down signals in the prefrontal cortex. The preliminary results indicate that 32% of visual neurons exhibit pair-selectivity, which is similar to the characteristics of pair-coding activities in temporal neurons. The latency of visual responses in prefrontal neurons was longer than bottom-up signals but faster than top-down signals in inferior temporal neurons. These results suggest that pair-selective visual responses may be top-down signals that the prefrontal cortex provides to the temporal cortex, although further studies are needed to elucidate the neural correlates of top-down signals and their characteristics to understand the neural mechanism of executive control by the prefrontal cortex.
Rights: © 2013 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
This is not the published version. Please cite only the published version.
DOI(Published Version): 10.1016/j.jphysparis.2013.05.001
PubMed ID: 23684970
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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