Long-term stability of visual pattern selective responses of monkey temporal lobe neurons

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Abstract

Many neurons in primate inferotemporal (IT) cortex respond selectively to complex, often meaningful, stimuli such as faces and objects. An important unanswered question is whether such response selectivity, which is thought to arise from experience-dependent plasticity, is maintained from day to day, or whether the roles of individual cells are continually reassigned based on the diet of natural vision. We addressed this question using microwire electrodes that were chronically implanted in the temporal lobe of two monkeys, often allowing us to monitor activity of individual neurons across days. We found that neurons maintained their selectivity in both response magnitude and patterns of spike timing across a large set of visual images throughout periods of stable signal isolation from the same cell that sometimes exceeded two weeks. These results indicate that stimulus-selectivity of responses in IT is stable across days and weeks of visual experience.

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Bondar, I. V., Leopold, D. A., Richmond, B. J., Victor, J. D., & Logothetis, N. K. (2009). Long-term stability of visual pattern selective responses of monkey temporal lobe neurons. PLoS ONE, 4(12). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0008222

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