Working memory cells' behavior may be explained by cross-regional networks with synaptic facilitation

Sergio Verduzco-Flores, Mark Bodner, Bard Ermentrout, Joaquin M. Fuster, Yongdi Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Neurons in the cortex exhibit a number of patterns that correlate with working memory. Specifically, averaged across trials of working memory tasks, neurons exhibit different firing rate patterns during the delay of those tasks. These patterns include: 1) persistent fixed-frequency elevated rates above baseline, 2) elevated rates that decay throughout the tasks memory period, 3) rates that accelerate throughout the delay, and 4) patterns of inhibited firing (below baseline) analogous to each of the preceding excitatory patterns. Persistent elevated rate patterns are believed to be the neural correlate of working memory retention and preparation for execution of behavioral/motor responses as required in working memory tasks. Models have proposed that such activity corresponds to stable attractors in cortical neural networks with fixed synaptic weights. However, the variability in patterned behavior and the firing statistics of real neurons across the entire range of those behaviors across and within trials of working memory tasks are typical not reproduced. Here we examine the effect of dynamic synapses and network architectures with multiple cortical areas on the states and dynamics of working memory networks. The analysis indicates that the multiple pattern types exhibited by cells in working memory networks are inherent in networks with dynamic synapses, and that the variability and firing statistics in such networks with distributed architectures agree with that observed in the cortex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere6399
JournalPLoS One
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 4 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Working memory cells' behavior may be explained by cross-regional networks with synaptic facilitation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this