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Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

Summer 1991, Vol. 3, No. 3, Pages 242-251
(doi: 10.1162/jocn.1991.3.3.242)
© 1991 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Spatio-Temporal Cortical Patterns Evoked in Monkeys by a Discrimination Task
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The primary experimental objective of this work was to demonstrate localization and temporal sequencing of the functional steps carried out by nonhuman primate subjects during performance of a sensory discrimination task, i.e., to identify the locale and sequence of activation of regions that participate in sensory discrimination, stimulus classification, and response preparation. Multivariate statistical procedures were applied to evoked transcortical recordings to identify the location and order of occurrence of signals that are effective in discriminating task conditions and parameters. (1) Sensory discrimination, (2) stimulus classification, and (3) response preparation occurred in the expected sequence. Information that enabled discrimination using these procedures was distributed widely across the cortex; however, the maximum information content was localized to striate and prestriate cortex, anterior inferior parietal cortex, and temporal and premotor cortex, respectively. This work provides a perspective on brain mechanisms responsible for cognition and demonstrates a set of powerful multivariate analytic tools for functional mapping, i.e., identifying the location and sequencing of cognitive functions.