Publications [#207861] of Marc A. Sommer

Book Chapters

  1. Wurtz, Robert H. and Sommer, Marc A. (2006). Single Neurons and Primate Behavior. In Carl Senior, Tamara Russell, and Michael S. Gazzaniga (Ed.).  Methods in Mind (pp. 123-139). MIT Press.
    (last updated on 2012/08/13)

    Understanding the brain mechanisms mediating cognitive behavior requires combining two experimental steps. First, the brain must actually be engaged in the cognitive behavior under study. Second, the brain activity must be measured during this behavior and the recording sufficiently described to permit replication of the experiment. There are a number of ways of meeting the second prerequisite, many discussed elsewhere in this volume; our chapter will address one with unsurpassed spatial and temporal resolution: the recording of the action potentials of single neurons. Recording single neurons in the brain is a mature technique that has been used extensively for over a quarter century. In outlining the technique requirements and comparing them to those of other techniques, we will focus on what has become a cornerstone for the study of brain mechanisms underlying cognitive behavior: single-neuron recording from awake monkeys trained on behavioral tasks. Our description and comments are based on our own experience in studying awake monkeys; we also provide references on specific technical points not addressed in this chapter.