Prefrontal cortex and sensory cortices during working memory: quantity and quality

Yixuan Ku, Mark Bodner, Yong Di Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The activity in sensory cortices and the prefrontal cortex (PFC) throughout the delay interval of working memory (WM) tasks reflect two aspects of WM—quality and quantity, respectively. The delay activity in sensory cortices is fine-tuned to sensory information and forms the neural basis of the precision of WM storage, while the delay activity in the PFC appears to represent behavioral goals and filters out irrelevant distractions, forming the neural basis of the quantity of task-relevant information in WM. The PFC and sensory cortices interact through different frequency bands of neuronal oscillation (theta, alpha, and gamma) to fulfill goal-directed behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-182
Number of pages8
JournalNeuroscience Bulletin
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015


  • capacity limit
  • memory precision
  • neuronal oscillations
  • prefrontal cortex
  • working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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