||Information Accumulation over Time in Monkey Inferior Temporal Cortex Neurons Explains Pattern Recognition Reaction Time under Visual Noise
Kuboki, Ryosuke ,
Sugase-Miyamoto, Yasuko ,
Matsumoto, Narihisa ,
Richmond, Barry J.Shidara, Munetaka
Frontiers in integrative neuroscience
10p.43 , 2017-01 , Frontiers Media S.A.
We recognize objects even when they are partially degraded by visual noise. We studied the relation between the amount of visual noise (5, 10, 15, 20, or 25%) degrading 8 black-and-white stimuli and stimulus identification in 2 monkeys performing a sequential delayed match-to-sample task. We measured the accuracy and speed with which matching stimuli were identified. The performance decreased slightly (errors increased) as the amount of visual noise increased for both monkeys. The performance remained above 80% correct, even with 25% noise. However, the reaction times markedly increased as the noise increased, indicating that the monkeys took progressively longer to decide what the correct response would be as the amount of visual noise increased, showing that the monkeys trade time to maintain accuracy. Thus, as time unfolds the monkeys act as if they are accumulating the information and/or testing hypotheses about whether the test stimulus is likely to be a match for the sample being held in short-term memory. We recorded responses from 13 single neurons in area TE of the 2 monkeys. We found that stimulus-selective information in the neuronal responses began accumulating when the match stimulus appeared. We found that the greater the amount of noise obscuring the test stimulus, the more slowly stimulus-related information by the 13 neurons accumulated. The noise induced slowing was about the same for both behavior and information. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that area TE neuron population carries information about stimulus identity that accumulates over time in such a manner that it progressively overcomes the signal degradation imposed by adding visual noise.