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At the final stage of the ventral visual stream, perirhinal neurons encode the identity of memorized objects through learning. However, it remains elusive whether and how object percepts alone, or concomitantly a nonphysical attribute of the objects ("learned"), are decoded from perirhinal activities. By combining monkey psychophysics with optogenetic and electrical stimulations, we found a focal spot of memory neurons where both stimulations led monkeys to preferentially judge presented objects as "already seen." In an adjacent fringe area, where neurons did not exhibit selective responses to the learned objects, electrical stimulation induced the opposite behavioral bias toward "never seen before," whereas optogenetic stimulation still induced bias toward "already seen." These results suggest that mnemonic judgment of objects emerges via the decoding of their nonphysical attributes encoded by perirhinal neurons.

Original publication

DOI

10.1126/science.aan4800

Type

Journal article

Journal

Science

Publication Date

18/08/2017

Volume

357

Pages

687 - 692

Keywords

Animals, Electric Stimulation, Macaca, Male, Memory, Neurons, Optogenetics, Pattern Recognition, Visual, Perirhinal Cortex, Semantics