Rate-distortion theory provides a powerful framework for understanding the nature of human memory by formalizing the relationship between information rate (the average number of bits per stimulus transmitted across the memory channel) and distortion (the cost of memory errors). Here we show how this abstract computational-level framework can be realized by a model of neural population coding. The model reproduces key regularities of visual working memory, including some that were not previously explained by population coding models. We verify a novel prediction of the model by reanalyzing recordings of monkey prefrontal neurons during an oculomotor delayed response task.
The current manuscript is a computational study, so no data have been generated for this manuscript. Source code can be found at https://github.com/amvjakob/wm-rate-distortion. The previously published datasets are available upon request from the corresponding authors of the published papers, Souza and Oberauer (2015), Daniel Bliss at al. (2017), Panichello et al. (2019). A minimally processed dataset from Barbosa et al. (2020) is available online ((https://github.com/comptelab/interplayPFC), with the raw data available upon request from the corresponding author of the published paper (raw monkey data available upon request to Christos Constantinidis firstname.lastname@example.org, and raw EEG data available upon request to Heike Stein, email@example.com). There are no specific application or approval processes involved in requesting these datasets.
Interplay between persistent activity and activity-silent dynamics in the prefrontal cortex underlies serial biases in working memoryhttps://github.com/comptelab/interplayPFC.
- Anthony MV Jakob
- Samuel J Gershman
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Paul Bays, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
© 2023, Jakob & Gershman
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Perceptual decisions about sensory input are influenced by fluctuations in ongoing neural activity, most prominently driven by attention and neuromodulator systems. It is currently unknown if neuromodulator activity and attention differentially modulate perceptual decision-making and/or whether neuromodulatory systems in fact control attentional processes. To investigate the effects of two distinct neuromodulatory systems and spatial attention on perceptual decisions, we pharmacologically elevated cholinergic (through donepezil) and catecholaminergic (through atomoxetine) levels in humans performing a visuo-spatial attention task, while we measured electroencephalography (EEG). Both attention and catecholaminergic enhancement improved decision-making at the behavioral and algorithmic level, as reflected in increased perceptual sensitivity and the modulation of the drift rate parameter derived from drift diffusion modeling. Univariate analyses of EEG data time-locked to the attentional cue, the target stimulus, and the motor response further revealed that attention and catecholaminergic enhancement both modulated pre-stimulus cortical excitability, cue- and stimulus-evoked sensory activity, as well as parietal evidence accumulation signals. Interestingly, we observed both similar, unique, and interactive effects of attention and catecholaminergic neuromodulation on these behavioral, algorithmic, and neural markers of the decision-making process. Thereby, this study reveals an intricate relationship between attentional and catecholaminergic systems and advances our understanding about how these systems jointly shape various stages of perceptual decision-making.
The relationship between obesity and human brain structure is incompletely understood. Using diffusion-weighted MRI from ∼30,000 UK Biobank participants, we test the hypothesis that obesity (waist-to-hip ratio, WHR) is associated with regional differences in two micro-structural MRI metrics: isotropic volume fraction (ISOVF), an index of free water, and intra-cellular volume fraction (ICVF), an index of neurite density. We observed significant associations with obesity in two coupled but distinct brain systems: a prefrontal/temporal/striatal system associated with ISOVF and a medial temporal/occipital/striatal system associated with ICVF. The ISOVF~WHR system colocated with expression of genes enriched for innate immune functions, decreased glial density, and high mu opioid (MOR) and other neurotransmitter receptor density. Conversely, the ICVF~WHR system co-located with expression of genes enriched for G-protein coupled receptors and decreased density of MOR and other receptors. To test whether these distinct brain phenotypes might differ in terms of their underlying shared genetics or relationship to maps of the inflammatory marker C-reactive Protein (CRP), we estimated the genetic correlations between WHR and ISOVF (rg = 0.026, P = 0.36) and ICVF (rg = 0.112, P < 9×10−4) as well as comparing correlations between WHR maps and equivalent CRP maps for ISOVF and ICVF (P<0.05). These correlational results are consistent with a two-way mechanistic model whereby genetically determined differences in neurite density in the medial temporal system may contribute to obesity, whereas water content in the prefrontal system could reflect a consequence of obesity mediated by innate immune system activation.