Nature Reviews Neuroscience 4, 203-218 (March 2003) | doi:10.1038/nrn1058

Focus on: Cognitive Neuroscience

Flutter Discrimination: neural codes, perception, memory and decision making

Ranulfo Romo1 & Emilio Salinas2  About the authors


Recent studies combining psychophysical and neurophysiological experiments in behaving monkeys have provided new insights into how several cortical areas integrate efforts to solve a vibrotactile discrimination task. In particular, these studies have addressed how neural codes are related to perception, working memory and decision making in this model. The primary somatosensory cortex drives higher cortical areas where past and current sensory information are combined, such that a comparison of the two evolves into a behavioural decision. These and other observations in visual tasks indicate that decisions emerge from highly-distributed processes in which the details of a scheduled motor plan are gradually specified by sensory information.

Author affiliations

  1. Instituto de Fisiología Celular, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Apartado Postal 70-253, 04510 México Distrito Federal, Mexico.
  2. Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27157, USA.

Correspondence to: Ranulfo Romo1 Email:

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