Working memory, a well-studied cognitive function, refers to the capacity to remember things for a short time. Which neurons in the brain implement this function and how exactly they do it are unresolved questions. Here we show that, in a cortical area that participates in the analysis of perceptual experiences, the same neurons encode both tactile and acoustic information in working memory, and do so using the same representation for both modalities. This means that memory circuits in this area are dedicated to encoding information in a relatively abstract format that had not been revealed until now.
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