Symmetric temporal patterns in cortical spike trains during performance of a short-term memory task

Mark Bodner, Yong Di Zhou, Gordon L. Shaw, Joaquin M. Fuster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The trion model is a highly structured representation of cortical organization, which predicts families of symmetric spatial-temporal firing patterns inherent in cortical activity. The symmetries of these inherent firing patterns are used by the brain in short-term memory to perform higher level computations. In the present study, symmetric temporal patterns were searched for in spike trains recorded from cells in parietal cortex of a monkey performing a short-term memory task. A new method of analysis was used to map neuronal firing into sequences of integers representing relative levels of firing rate about the mean (i.e. -1, 0 and 1). The results of this analysis show families of patterns related by symmetry operations. These operations are: i. the interchanging of all the + 1's and - 1's in a given pattern sequence (C symmetry), ii. the inverting of the temporal sequence of the mapping (T symmetry), and ill the combination of the two previous operations (CT symmetry). Patterns of a given family are found across cells, especially in the memory periods of the task; in most cases they reoccur within a given spike train. The pattern families predicted by the model and reported here should be further investigated in multiple microelectrode and EEG recordings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-514
Number of pages6
JournalNeurological Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes



  • EEG
  • Monkeys
  • Short-term memory
  • Spike trains
  • Symmetry
  • Temporal patterns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Bodner, M., Zhou, Y. D., Shaw, G. L., & Fuster, J. M. (1997). Symmetric temporal patterns in cortical spike trains during performance of a short-term memory task. Neurological Research, 19(5), 509-514.