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 AG Basic mechanisms of auditory pattern recognition

 Auditory working memory: Physiological mechanisms in human and monkey auditory cortex

Project description:

The project aims at identifying physiological correlates of auditory working memory in the auditory cortex, using a convergent approach in humans and non-human primates. Working memory (WM) refers to the processes used for temporarily storing information and is a fundamental prerequisite for our abilities to perform everyday functions. It involves a broad network of brain areas including sensory cortices. A role of early auditory cortex also appears likely because of the high accuracy of auditory WM. WM experiments typically involve the presentation of a stimulus, S1, to be remembered and to be compared with a subsequent stimulus S2. Persistent neuronal activity in the period between S1 and S2 is generally taken as the neural correlate of WM, but we argue that such activity might also reflect, for example, the anticipation of S2, preparation for motor response alternatives (Go/NoGo), and anticipation of feedback. The objective of our research is to disentangle neuronal activity truly related to auditory WM during the delay from neuronal activity related to other cognitive processes which constitute an integral part of this type of WM paradigm and are intermingled with the actual memory process. In a convergent approach with humans and non-human primates, we conduct experiments to critically address whether differential activity in auditory cortex during the delay period of typical WM tasks reflects auditory WM or not. The issue is investigated by recording large populations of neurons in humans by means of simultaneous MEG/EEG acquisition and by recording single neuron activity and local field potentials in the auditory cortex of monkeys.

Collaborators:

PD Dr. Michael Brosch, Dr. Ying Huang (Special Lab Primate Neurobiology)
PD Dr. Reinhard König, Dr. Artur Matysiak (Special Lab Non-invasive Brain Imaging)

Funding:

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft He1721/10-1 (2012-2014) to Heil P, Brosch M, and König R: Neuronal correlates of sensory working memory in the auditory cortex of humans and monkeys

LIN-Special Project (2009-2010) to König R, Heil P, and Brosch M: Auditory working memory: Physiological mechanisms in human and monkey auditory cortex

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