Saturday, March 10, 2007

Repetition Suppression in Monkey Inferotemporal Cortex: Relation to Behavioral Priming

McMahon DB, Olson CR
J Neurophysiol. 2007 Mar 7;

In tasks requiring judgments about visual stimuli, humans exhibit repetition priming, responding with increased speed when a stimulus is repeated. Repetition priming might depend on repetition suppression, a phenomenon, first observed in monkey inferotemporal cortex (IT), whereby, when a stimulus is repeated, the strength of the neuronal visual response is reduced. If the reduction resulted in sharpening of the cortical representation of the stimulus, and did not just scale it down, then speeded processing might result. To explore the relation between repetition priming and repetition suppression, we monitored neuronal activity in IT while monkeys performed a symmetry decision task. We found (1) that monkeys exhibit repetition priming, (2) that IT neurons simultaneously exhibit repetition suppression, (3) that repetition priming and repetition suppression do not vary in a significantly correlated fashion across trials and (4) that repetition suppression scales down the representation of the stimulus without sharpening it. We conclude that repetition suppression accompanies repetition priming but is unlikely to be its cause.

PMID: 17344370

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