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Sparse but not ‘Grandmother-cell’ coding in the medial temporal lobe

Quiroga, Rodrigo Quian and Kreiman, Gabriel and Koch, Christof and Fried, Itzhak (2008) Sparse but not ‘Grandmother-cell’ coding in the medial temporal lobe. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 12 (3). pp. 87-91. ISSN 1364-6613. doi:10.1016/j.tics.2007.12.003.

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Although a large number of neuropsychological and imaging studies have demonstrated that the medial temporal lobe (MTL) plays an important role in human memory, there are few data regarding the activity of neurons involved in this process. The MTL receives massive inputs from visual cortical areas, and evidence over the last decade has consistently shown that MTL neurons respond selectively to complex visual stimuli. Here, we focus on how the activity patterns of these cells might reflect the transformation of visual percepts into long-term memories. Given the very sparse and abstract representation of visual information by these neurons, they could in principle be considered as ‘grandmother cells’. However, we give several arguments that make such an extreme interpretation unlikely.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Koch, Christof0000-0001-6482-8067
Fried, Itzhak0000-0002-5962-2678
Additional Information:Available online 11 February 2008. c2007 Elsevier Ltd. We thank all patients for their participation, E. Behnke, T. Fields, E. Ho, E. Isham, A. Kraskov and C. Wilson for technical assistance and S. Waydo and F. Mormann for comments on this manuscript. This work was supported by grants from the NINDS, NIMH, NSF, DARPA, Epilepsy Foundation, EPSRC and the Life Science Interface Programme, the Office of Naval Research, the W. M. Keck Foundation Fund for Discovery in Basic Medical Research, the McGovern Institute, Children's Hospital Ophthalmology Foundation, the Gordon Moore Foundation, the Sloan Foundation and the Swartz Foundation for Computational Neuroscience.
Group:Koch Laboratory (KLAB)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)UNSPECIFIED
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)UNSPECIFIED
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)UNSPECIFIED
Epilepsy Foundation of AmericaUNSPECIFIED
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)UNSPECIFIED
Life Science Interface ProgrammeUNSPECIFIED
Office of Naval Research (ONR)UNSPECIFIED
W. M. Keck FoundationUNSPECIFIED
McGovern InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Children's Hospital Ophthalmology FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Swartz Foundation for Computational NeuroscienceUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130816-103347294
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Official Citation:R. Quian Quiroga, G. Kreiman, C. Koch, I. Fried, Sparse but not ‘Grandmother-cell’ coding in the medial temporal lobe, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Volume 12, Issue 3, March 2008, Pages 87-91, ISSN 1364-6613, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:40648
Deposited By: KLAB Import
Deposited On:16 Mar 2008 05:04
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 00:07

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