Activity of prefrontal neurons during location and color delayed matching tasks

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MANY cells in prefrontal cortex show enhanced activity prior to movement onset in delayed or memory-guided saccade tasks. This activity is a possible neural correlate of spatial attention and working memory. The goal of this study was to determine whether delay activity is evoked when non-spatial cues such as color are used to guide saccades. Monkeys were trained on a saccade target selection task in which they were cued for either the location or color of the rewarded target. When the location of the target was specified explicitly, many cells showed visual responses and delay activity that were spatially selective. Color selective visual responses or delay activity were both rare and weak. However, for many cells, spatially selective delay activity could be evoked when color was used to specify the location of the target. These results indicate that color is capable of eliciting spatially selective activity from cells that have no overt color selectivity.

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