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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

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

John Duncan

Earl K. Miller

Oxford University Press

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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