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Romo, R; Lemus, L; Hernandez, A; Luna, R; Zainos, A; Nacher, V (2007)


P NATL ACAD SCI USA 104(43):17174-17179
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Depending on environmental demands, a decision based on a sensory evaluation may be either immediately reported or postponed for later report. If postponed, the decision must be held in memory. But what exactly is stored by the underlying memory circuits, the final decision itself or the sensory information that led to it? Here, we report that, during a postponed decision report period, the activity of medial premotor cortex neurons encodes both the result of the sensory evaluation that corresponds to the monkey's possible choices and past sensory information on which the decision is based. These responses could switch back and forth with remarkable flexibility across the postponed decision report period. Moreover, these responses covaried with the animal's decision report. We propose that maintaining in working memory the original stimulus information on which the decision is based could serve to continuously update the postponed decision report in this task.