Patterned firing of parietal cells in a haptic working memory task

Mark Bodner, M. Shafi, Y. D. Zhou, J. M. Fuster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Cells in the somatosensory cortex of the monkey are known to exhibit sustained elevations of firing frequency during the short-term mnemonic retention of tactile information in a haptic delay task. In this study, we examine the possibility that those firing elevations are accompanied by changes in firing pattern. Patterns are identified by the application of a pattern-searching algorithm to the interspike intervals of spike trains. By sequential use of sets of pattern templates with a range of temporal resolutions, we find patterned activity in the majority of the cells investigated. In general, the degree of patterning significantly increases during active memory. Surrogate analysis suggests that the observed patterns may not be simple linear stochastic functions of instantaneous or average firing frequency. Therefore, during the active retention of a memorandum, the activity of a 'memory cell' may be characterized not only by changes in frequency but also by changes in pattern.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2538-2546
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 2005


  • Haptic working memory
  • Monkeys
  • Parietal cortex
  • Recurrent networks
  • Spike patterns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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