“Simultaneous Representation of Sensory and Mnemonic Information in Human Visual Cortex”
John Serences, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology
University of California, San Diego
Navigating through complex environments requires keeping relevant information in mind, or in working memory, while simultaneously processing new sensory inputs. For example, when frantically looking for your car keys in the morning, you need to hold in mind an image of what your keys look like while you scan each object in your living room for a match. Feature selective responses in early visual cortex are thought to play a role in maintaining information in working memory. However, these areas also must process new sensory inputs as you search the visual scene, and processing new inputs may wipe out information that you are trying to remember. I will discuss a recent set of studies that demonstrate region-wide multiplexing abilities in early visual areas, with population-level response patterns in visual cortex simultaneously representing the contents of working memory concurrently with new sensory inputs.
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