Neural correlates of modality-specific and modality-invariant object recognition in the perirhinal cortex

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Lim, H.-Y.; Lee, I.


The perirhinal cortex (PER) supports multimodal object recognition, but how multimodal information of objects is integrated within the PER remains unknown. Here, we recorded single units within the PER while rats performed a PER-dependent multimodal object-recognition task. In this task, audiovisual cues were simultaneously (multimodally) or separately (unimodally) presented. We identified two types of object-selective neurons in the PER: crossmodal cells, showing constant firing patterns for an object irrespective of its modality, and unimodal cells, showing a preference for a specific modality. Unimodal cells further dissociated unimodal and multimodal versions of the object by modulating their firing rates according to the modality condition. A population-decoding analysis confirmed that the PER could perform both modality-invariant and modality-specific object decoding - the former for recognizing an object as the same in various conditions and the latter for remembering modality-specific experiences of the same object.

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