Role of Prefrontal Cortex in Working Memory Assessed by Microstimulation

orking memory, a fundamental property of cognitive processing, is the capacity to store and handle information – sensory and internally generated – over periods of several seconds, without necessarily committing this information to long-term storage. The anterior executive region of the primate frontal lobe is comprised of a large number of areas, collectively referred to as the prefrontal cortex. This region is thought to be involved in higher-order cognitive processes, such as working memory, and the specific roles of the different prefrontal areas in cognitive processing remain unclear and are currently under scientific scrutiny. Our efforts are focused in measuring and manipulating brain activity in different prefrontal areas using chronically implanted electrodes while trained animals perform a memory-guided delayed saccade task . The delay saccade task requires engagement of both working memory and sustained attention for successful performance. We are exploring the behavioral effects of single-and multi-electrode microstimulation during different phases of the task, and compare the effects evoked by stimulation in different brain regions. Results obtained from these experiments will also provide the initial steps to identify potential neurotechnology treatments for neuropsychiatric disorders that affect working memory or attention.

Principal Investigator


Camilo Libedinsky

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, NUS