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Not “just” a coincidence: Frontal‐striatal interactions in working memory and interval timing

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The frontal cortex and basal ganglia play central roles in working memory and in the ability to time brief intervals. We outline recent theoretical and empirical work to suggest that working memory and interval timing rely not only on the same anatomic structures, but also on the same neural representation of a specific stimulus. Specifically, cortical neurons may fire in an oscillatory fashion to form representations of stimuli, and the striatum (a basal ganglia structure) may detect those patterns of cortical firing that occur co-incident to important events. Information about stimulus identity can be extracted from which cortical neurons are involved in the representation, and information about duration can be extracted from their relative phase. The principles derived from these biologically based models also fit well with a family of behaviourally based models that emphasise the importance of time in many working memory phenomena.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Duke University, Durham, NC, USA

Publication date: April 1, 2005

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