Working memory in primate sensory systems

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2005 Feb;6(2):97-107. doi: 10.1038/nrn1603.


Sensory working memory consists of the short-term storage of sensory stimuli to guide behaviour. There is increasing evidence that elemental sensory dimensions - such as object motion in the visual system or the frequency of a sound in the auditory system - are stored by segregated feature-selective systems that include not only the prefrontal and parietal cortex, but also areas of sensory cortex that carry out relatively early stages of processing. These circuits seem to have a dual function: precise sensory encoding and short-term storage of this information. New results provide insights into how activity in these circuits represents the remembered sensory stimuli.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Auditory Perception / physiology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Memory, Short-Term / physiology*
  • Nerve Net / physiology
  • Neural Networks, Computer
  • Primates
  • Visual Perception / physiology*