The study will investigate how visual information is represented in the prefrontal cortex, the brain area involved with higher cognitive functions, before and after training to perform a working memory tasks. Monkeys will be trained in cognitive tasks that require them to observe and remember displays with multiple visual stimuli. Neurophysiological recordings with an array of microelectrodes as training progresses will allow us to determine the patterns of neuronal activation that determine the expected improvement in behavioral performance and working memory capacity. The experiments will uncover the nature of changes that take place in the prefrontal cortex during training to perform a working memory task.

Public Health Relevance

The experiments will test what changes occur in the prefrontal cortex after subjects are trained to perform a cognitive task that requires visual, short-term memory for multiple stimuli. Such training has shown promise in restoring function after traumatic brain injury, in ameliorating the effects of normal aging, and improving cognitive symptoms of disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. Our results will uncover the changes in brain circuits following cognitive training and offer insights on the design of better treatment strategies for dealing with cognitive decline associated with these conditions.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Research Project (R01)
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Mechanisms of Sensory, Perceptual, and Cognitive Processes Study Section (SPC)
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Flanders, Martha C
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Wake Forest University Health Sciences
Anatomy/Cell Biology
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Riley, Mitchell R; Qi, Xue-Lian; Zhou, Xin et al. (2018) Anterior-posterior gradient of plasticity in primate prefrontal cortex. Nat Commun 9:3790
Constantinidis, Christos; Funahashi, Shintaro; Lee, Daeyeol et al. (2018) Persistent Spiking Activity Underlies Working Memory. J Neurosci 38:7020-7028
Constantinidis, Christos; Qi, Xue-Lian (2018) Representation of Spatial and Feature Information in the Monkey Dorsal and Ventral Prefrontal Cortex. Front Integr Neurosci 12:31
Zhou, Xin; Constantinidis, Christos (2017) Fixation target representation in prefrontal cortex during the antisaccade task. J Neurophysiol 117:2152-2162
Tang, Hua; Riley, Mitchell R; Constantinidis, Christos (2017) Lateralization of Executive Function: Working Memory Advantage for Same Hemifield Stimuli in the Monkey. Front Neurosci 11:532
Murray, John D; Bernacchia, Alberto; Roy, Nicholas A et al. (2017) Stable population coding for working memory coexists with heterogeneous neural dynamics in prefrontal cortex. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 114:394-399
Riley, Mitchell R; Qi, Xue-Lian; Constantinidis, Christos (2017) Functional specialization of areas along the anterior-posterior axis of the primate prefrontal cortex. Cereb Cortex 27:3683-3697
Constantinidis, Christos; Klingberg, Torkel (2016) The neuroscience of working memory capacity and training. Nat Rev Neurosci 17:438-49
Zhou, Xin; Zhu, Dantong; Qi, Xue-Lian et al. (2016) Neural correlates of working memory development in adolescent primates. Nat Commun 7:13423
Riley, Mitchell R; Constantinidis, Christos (2015) Role of Prefrontal Persistent Activity in Working Memory. Front Syst Neurosci 9:181

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