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Pinpointing the neural signatures of single-exposure visual recognition memory

Cite this dataset

Mehrpour, Vahid; Meyer, Travis; Simoncelli, Eero P.; Rust, Nicole C. (2021). Pinpointing the neural signatures of single-exposure visual recognition memory [Dataset]. Dryad.


Memories of the images that we have seen are thought to be reflected in the reduction of neural responses in high-level visual areas such as inferotemporal (IT) cortex, a phenomenon known as repetition suppression (RS). We challenged this hypothesis with a task that required rhesus monkeys to report whether images were novel or repeated while ignoring variations in contrast, a stimulus attribute that is also known to modulate the overall IT response. The monkeys’ behavior was largely contrast-invariant, contrary to the predictions of an RS-inspired decoder, which could not distinguish responses to images that are repeated from those that are of lower contrast. However, the monkeys’ behavioral patterns were well-predicted by a linearly decodable variant in which the total spike count was corrected for contrast modulation. These results suggest that the IT neural activity pattern that best aligns with single-exposure visual recognition memory behavior is not RS but rather “sensory referenced suppression (SRS)”: reductions in IT population response magnitude, corrected for sensory modulation.


Simons Foundation, Award: 543033

Simons Foundation, Award: 543047

National Eye Institute, Award: R01EY020851

National Science Foundation, Award: 1265480

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Award: Investigatorship