A hierarchy of intrinsic timescales across primate cortex

Nat Neurosci. 2014 Dec;17(12):1661-3. doi: 10.1038/nn.3862. Epub 2014 Nov 10.


Specialization and hierarchy are organizing principles for primate cortex, yet there is little direct evidence for how cortical areas are specialized in the temporal domain. We measured timescales of intrinsic fluctuations in spiking activity across areas and found a hierarchical ordering, with sensory and prefrontal areas exhibiting shorter and longer timescales, respectively. On the basis of our findings, we suggest that intrinsic timescales reflect areal specialization for task-relevant computations over multiple temporal ranges.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Female
  • Macaca
  • Male
  • Photic Stimulation / methods*
  • Primates
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Time Factors