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Neurons and Iconic Memory

Matt mst_at_ecc.ubc.ca at no.spam
Fri Feb 12 17:45:13 EST 1999


Chellazi, L., Miller, E. K. , Duncan, J. , & Desimone, R. (1993) showed a
sustained neural response in IT neurons firing in response to the target in
a delayed match-to-sample task.  They also show what they suggest might be
the "neural  basis for visual search".   Upon onset of the search array, it
seems neurons in IT just fire away in response to the presence of a "good"
stimulus in their receptive fields.  Immediately before the monkey sacades
to the target, and presumably in conjunction with a shift in spatial
selective attention, the neurons responding to non-targets are suppressed.
I understand they've found similiar behavior of V4 neurons. I would love to
hear some musings on the explanatory potential of these findings.  Seems one
could make some pretty large but not unreasonable leaps on the basis of this

For example (don't hold me to this if I say something foolish):  Might it be
reasonable to suggest that the initial phase of response, when all the
neurons are firing away and attention has not yet singled out the target, is
the neural correlate of what we have called iconic memory?

There's an example, anyone interested in having a go at this?

Matt Tata

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