Continuous processing in macaque frontal cortex during visual search.

Bichot NP, Chenchal Rao S, Schall JD
Neuropsychologia. 2001 39 (9): 972-82

PMID: 11516449 · DOI:10.1016/s0028-3932(01)00022-7

A central issue in mental chronometry is whether information is transferred between processing stages such as stimulus evaluation and response preparation in a continuous or discrete manner. We tested whether partial information about a stimulus influences the response stage by recording the activity of movement-related neurons in the frontal eye field of macaque monkeys performing a conjunction visual search and a feature visual search with a singleton distractor. While movement-related neurons were activated maximally when the target of the search array was in their movement field, they were also activated for distractors even though a saccade was successfully made to the target outside the movement field. Most importantly, the level of activation depended on the properties of the distractor, with greater activation for distractors that shared a target feature or were the target during the previous session during conjunction search, and for the singleton distractor during feature search. These results support the model of continuous information processing and argue against a strictly discrete model.

MeSH Terms (8)

Animals Cognition Frontal Lobe Macaca mulatta Macaca radiata Models, Biological Motion Perception Saccades

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