Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
The perirhinal cortex is involved not only in object recognition and novelty detection but also in multimodal integration, reward association, and visual working memory. We propose a computational model that focuses on the role of the perirhinal cortex in working memory, particularly with respect to sustained activities and memory retrieval. This model describes how different partial informations are integrated into assemblies of neurons that represent the identity of an object. Through dopaminergic modulation, the resulting clusters can retrieve the global information with recurrent interactions between neurons. Dopamine leads to sustained activities after stimulus disappearance that form the basis of the involvement of the perirhinal cortex in visual working memory processes. The information carried by a cluster can also be retrieved by a partial thalamic or prefrontal stimulation. Thus, we suggest that areas involved in planning and memory coordination encode a pointer to access the detailed information encoded in the associative cortex such as the perirhinal cortex.