Using single unit recordings in PDP and localist models to better understand how knowledge is coded in the cortex


There is long history of studies documenting that some neurons respond to images of objects, faces, and scenes in a highly selective manner. This includes neurons in the human hippocampus (e.g., the famous example of a neuron responding to images of the actress Jennifer Aniston) and neurons in high-level visual cortex in monkey (for reviews see Bowers, 2009; Ison, Quian Quiroga, & Fried, 2015). These findings have led to a growing interest in the claim that some neurons code for information in a localist (‘grandmother cell’) manner, as reflected in the many contributions to a recent special issue on this topic in the journal Language, Cognition, & Neuroscience (Bowers, 2017).

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