Neuronal activity in the monkey dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during a discrimination task with delay

Brain Res. 1980 Feb 3;183(1):29-42. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(80)90117-1.


Ninety-nine single neuron activities of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of 3 monkeys were recorded during performance of a Konorski task. Green or red lights were presented successively with a separation of fixed delay interval. The monkey responded as soon as the second stimulus was presented. If the two stimuli were color-matched, the 'YES' lever press was rewarded; if the two stimuli were not, the 'NO' lever press was rewarded. In the second task, after paired color stimuli, a tone pip was presented as the 'GO' signal for lever presses. During sample and matching periods 50 neurons increased their discharge rates and 10 decreased. In 86% of increasing type neurons rate increase occurred during both periods. During auditory GO periods, 27 neurons increased their rates and 11 decreased. Discharge peak was before or at the moment of hold key release. In 60% of these neurons were also observed the rate changes to sample and matching stimuli. Differential activations between left and right levers were found in 20%. It was suggested that the prefrontal cortex is related to a sensorial attention mechanism to the visual stimulus which enables correct choice of the behavior to be rewarded.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Color Perception / physiology
  • Discrimination Learning / physiology*
  • Evoked Potentials
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology*
  • Haplorhini
  • Motor Skills / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Temporal Lobe / physiology