March 8-9, 2011, Université Paris-Descartes, 45 Rue des Saints Pères, 75270 Paris
Working Memory (WM) refers to structure and processes that support temporary storage and processing of information for behavioral purposes. It has been implicated as a critical contributor to essential cognitive functions such as reasoning, planning and learning. The best investigated neuronal correlate of WM is the so-called persistent activity found in several cortical areas during delayed-response tasks, that is enhanced/suppressed spiking activity initiated by stimulation and maintained along the delay period. Still today however, 50 years since the term was first used in behavioral sciences, WM functional architecture and its underlying physiological machinery alike remain elusive. Do WM functions result from the operations of one specialized system or from the coordinated recruitment of non- dedicated brain systems? In either scenario, what is the function persistent activity is serving? What are the physiological mechanisms that generate persistent activity?
Investigation of WM and its neuronal correlates has been using the delayed-response paradigm and a correlative stimulus-neural activity-response approach as the chief experimental tools. Temporary memory storage is, however, only one of the potential demands likely to be made upon WM. Its prime function is rather the coordination of computational resources to produce behavior, that is, decision-making. We are convinced that focusing more on the ’working’ part of the term ’Working Memory’ will provide important breakthroughs in answering fundamental, still-unanswered questions about WM computational and mechanistic functioning.
Theoretical and modeling studies have investigated in the last years the possible network and cellular mechanisms which could underlie the initiation, maintenance, selectivity and extinction of persistent activity, learning and conversion of delay activity into motor responses, and the relationship between persistent activity and decision making. The goal of this symposium is to confront these theories and models with the most recent experimental data from electrophysiological, imaging and psychophysics experiments.
Organizers: David Hansel & Gianluigi Mongillo (CNRS and Institute of Neuroscience and Cognition, Université Paris Descartes, Paris)
Sponsors: Université Paris Descartes; CNRS/JSPS cooperation agreement; The France-Israeli Laboratory of Neuroscience (CNRS-Paris, Hebrew University-Jerusalem).
Speakers: T. Boraud (Bordeaux), N. Brunel (Paris), C. Constantinidis (Winston Salem), R. Darshan (Jerusalem), G. Deco (Barcelona), S. Funahashi (Kyoto), A. Gorea (Paris), M. Guthrie (Bordeaux), D. Hansel (Paris), O. Harish (Paris), A. Leblois (Paris), C. Machens (Paris), P. Mamassian (Paris), K. Mochizuki (Kyoto), G. Mongillo (Paris), J.P. Nadal (Paris), M. Pessiglione (Paris), A. Tanaka (Kyoto), C. van Vreeswijk (Paris)
Talks in the Conference room of the Laboratory of Neurophysics and Physiology
Tuesday, March 8
Wednesday, March 9:
Last updated on Wednesday 26 September 2012