Sense and the single neuron: probing the physiology of perception

Annu Rev Neurosci. 1998:21:227-77. doi: 10.1146/annurev.neuro.21.1.227.


The newly defined field of cognitive neuroscience attempts to draw together the study of all brain mechanisms that underlie our mental life. Historically, the major sensory pathways have provided the most trustworthy insights into how the brain supports cognitive functions such as perception, attention, and short-term memory. The links between neural activity and perception, in particular, have been studied revealingly in recent decades. Here we review the striking progress in this area, giving particular emphasis to the kinds of neural events that underlie the perceptual judgments of conscious observers.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology*
  • Perception / physiology*