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Paper   IPM / Cognitive Sciences / 17392
School of Cognitive Sciences
  Title:   Prefrontal cortex encodes value pop-out in visual search
1.  M. Abbaszadeh
2.  A. Panjehpour
3.  S.M. Alemohammad
4.  A. Ghavampour
5.  A. Ghazizadeh
  Status:   Published
  Journal: iScience
  Vol.:  26
  Year:  2023
  Supported by:  IPM
Recent evidence demonstrates that long-term object value association can enhance visual search efficiency, a phenomenon known as value pop-out. However, the neural mechanism underlying this effect is not fully understood. Given the known role of the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (vlPFC) in visual search and value memory, we recorded its single-unit activity (n = 526) in two macaque monkeys while they engaged in the value-driven search. Monkeys had to determine whether a high-value target was present within a variable number of low-value objects. Differential neural firing, as well as gamma-band power, indicated the presence of a target within â?¼150ms of display onset. Notably, this differential activity was negatively correlated with search time and had reduced set-size dependence during efficient search. On the other hand, neural firing and its variability were higher in inefficient search. These findings implicate vlPFC in rapid detection of valuable targets which would be a crucial skill in competitive environments.

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