Journal Article Event- and time-dependent decline of outcome information in the primate prefrontal cortex.

Marcos, Encarni  ,  Tsujimoto, Satoshi  ,  Genovesio, Aldo

62016-05-10 , Nature Publishing Group
The prefrontal cortex (PF) is involved in outcome-based flexible adaptation in a dynamically changing environment. The outcome signal dissipates gradually over time, but the temporal dynamics of this dissipation remains unknown. To examine this issue, we analyzed the outcome-related activity of PF neurons in 2 monkeys in a distance discrimination task. The initial prestimulus period of this task varied in duration, allowing us to dissociate the effects of time and event on the decline in previous outcome-related activity —previous correct versus previous error. We observed 2 types of decline in previous outcome representation: PF neurons that ceased to encode the previous outcome as time passed (time-dependent) and neurons that maintained their signal but it decreased rapidly after the occurrence of a new external event (event-dependent). Although the time-dependent dynamics explained the decline in a greater proportion of neurons, the event-dependent decline was also observed in a significant population of neurons.

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