Mnemonic neuronal activity in somatosensory cortex

Yong Di Zhou, Joaquín M. Fuster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Scopus citations


Single-unit activity was recorded from the hand areas of the somatosensory cortex of monkeys trained to perform a haptic delayed matching to sample task with objects of identical dimensions but different surface features. During the memory retention period of the task (delay), many units showed sustained firing frequency change, either excitation or inhibition. In some cases, firing during that period was significantly higher after one sample object than after another. These observations indicate the participation of somatosensory neurons not only in the perception but in the short-term memory of tactile stimuli. Neurons most directly implicated in tactile memory are (i) those with object-selective delay activity, (ii) those with nondifferential delay activity but without activity related to preparation for movement, and (iii) those with delay activity in the haptic- haptic delayed matching task but no such activity in a control visuo-haptic delayed matching task. The results indicate that cells in early stages of cortical somatosensory processing participate in haptic short-term memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10533-10537
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number19
StatePublished - Sep 17 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • active short-term memory
  • monkey
  • single units

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General


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