Prefrontal cortical microcircuits bind perception to executive control

Ioan Opris, Lucas Santos, Greg A. Gerhardt, Dong Song, Theodore W. Berger, Robert E. Hampson, Sam A. Deadwyler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


During the perception-to-action cycle, our cerebral cortex mediates the interactions between the environment and the perceptual-executive systems of the brain. At the top of the executive hierarchy, prefrontal cortical microcircuits are assumed to bind perceptual and executive control information to guide goal-driven behavior. Here, we tested this hypothesis by comparing simultaneously recorded neuron firing in prefrontal cortical layers and the caudate-putamen of rhesus monkeys, trained in a spatial-versus-object, rule-based match-to-sample task. We found that during the perception and executive selection phases, cell firing in the localized prefrontal layers and caudate-putamen region exhibited similar location preferences on spatial-trials, but less on object- trials. Then, we facilitated the perceptual-executive circuit by stimulating the prefrontal infra-granular-layers with patterns previously derived from supra-granular-layers, and produced stimulation-induced spatial preference in percent correct performance on spatial trials, similar to neural tuning. These results show that inter-laminar prefrontal microcircuits play causal roles to the perception-to-action cycle.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2285
JournalScientific Reports
StatePublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Joshua Long, Joseph Noto, Brian Parish, Joshua Fuqua, Christina Dyson, and Shahina Kozhisseri for their assistance on this project. This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Grants DA06634, DA023573, DA026487 and by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) contract N66601-09-C-2080 to S.A.D.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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