This seminar will be held virtually. Click here to attend.
Webinar url: https://mit.zoom.us/j/96488797782
Perceptual memory – shorthand for the process of extracting meaningful information from a stream of sensory data, and then experiencing, storing, recalling and acting upon that information – continues to enjoy a period of fast- paced research. However, research lines tend to custom-build a framework around a single stimulus feature in the context of a single behavioral task. Will the posited mechanisms hold up under different conditions? Based on preliminary experiments, I will try to unify diverse forms of perceptual memory into a general framework with deeper explanatory power. We have developed a library of tactile behaviors: the vibration stimulus set serves as the “raw material” from which the brain generates distinct percepts; the rat acts upon these percepts in multiple behavioral paradigms. The main hypothesis is centered on integration time scales in cortex. Upon processing a stream of sensory information, percepts of various stimulus features are generated in cortical modules according to the modules’ intrinsic integration time constants. Interactions between these modules, again governed by time constants, allow the network to flexibly engage in diverse behaviors, for instance, working memory and reference memory.