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Principles of Frontal Lobe Function$
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Donald T. Stuss and Robert T. Knight

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195134971

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195134971.001.0001

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Cognitive Focus through Adaptive Neural Coding in the Primate Prefrontal Cortex

Cognitive Focus through Adaptive Neural Coding in the Primate Prefrontal Cortex

Chapter:
(p.278) 18 Cognitive Focus through Adaptive Neural Coding in the Primate Prefrontal Cortex
Source:
Principles of Frontal Lobe Function
Author(s):

John Duncan

Earl K. Miller

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195134971.003.0018

This chapter presents some rather different ideas about the organization of the prefrontal cortex. Rather than fixed functional specialization, it emphasizes adaptability of neural coding to fit a behavioral context. In particular, it presents both neuroimaging and single-unit electrophysiological evidence to suggest that, in selected regions of the prefrontal cortex, neurons adapt their properties to code just that information of relevance to current behavior. This adaptation is a major contributor to the achievement of cognitive focus and control. Although this adaptive coding model recognizes important regional specializations within the prefrontal cortex, it suggests a perspective on these that is rather different from that presumed in the traditional divide-and-conquer approach.

Keywords:   prefrontal cortex, neural coding, neurons, adaptation

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