Aldo Genovesio : Role of prefrontal cortex in decision making: across-task interference effects in a duration discrimination task and prediction of others choices in a social interactive task.

Tuesday, 8 September, 2015 - 09:30 to 11:00
My talk will focus on two neurophysiological studies of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of Macaque Monkeys. In the first part I will present a schematic model of decision making in a duration discrimination task formulated by combining neural and behavioral analyses. The model describes how the comparison between the duration of two stimuli presented in sequence depends on intermediate neural computation mechanisms based on their order of presentation and how this computation could generate across-task interference effects on the performance in other contexts. 
In the second part I will present new data on the role of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in social cognition. We studied the predictive activity of prefrontal neurons by adopting an interactive nonmatch-to-goal task in which the monkeys were required to switch goal from one trial to another. This task had an interactive social component by asking the monkeys to interact with a human agent that performed a proportion of trials switching turn with the monkey. This paradigm engaged the monkey in the interaction with the human agent because the monkeys’ performance depended critically on the correct monitoring of the human previous’ choices that could not be ignored.