|Budget Amount *help
¥541,100,000 (Direct Cost : ¥524,000,000、Indirect Cost : ¥17,100,000)
Fiscal Year 2001 : ¥74,100,000 (Direct Cost : ¥57,000,000、Indirect Cost : ¥17,100,000)
Fiscal Year 2000 : ¥252,000,000 (Direct Cost : ¥252,000,000)
Fiscal Year 1999 : ¥19,000,000 (Direct Cost : ¥19,000,000)
Fiscal Year 1998 : ¥23,000,000 (Direct Cost : ¥23,000,000)
Fiscal Year 1997 : ¥41,000,000 (Direct Cost : ¥41,000,000)
Fiscal Year 1996 : ¥46,000,000 (Direct Cost : ¥46,000,000)
Fiscal Year 1995 : ¥86,000,000 (Direct Cost : ¥86,000,000)
1. In primates, visual long-term memory of objects is presumably stored in the inferior temporal (IT) cortex. Because brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is involved in activity-dependent neural reorganization, we tested the hypothesis that BDNF would be upregulated in IT cortex during formation of visual pair-association memory. To eliminate genetic and cognitive variations between individual animals, we used split-brain monkeys for intra-animal comparison in PCR-based mRNA quantitation. The monkeys learned a pair-association (PA) task using one hemisphere and a control visual task using the other, to balance the amount of visual input. We found that BDNF was upregulated selectively in area 36 of IT cortex during PA learning, but not in areas involved in earlier stages of visual processing. The results suggest that BDNF contributes to reorganization of neural circuits for visual long-term memory formation in the primate (Tokuyama et al. Nature neuroscience 3, 1134-1142, 2000).
Bidirectional signaling between neocortex and limbic cortex has been hypothesized to contribute to the retrieval of long-term memory. We tested this hypothesis by comparing the time courses of perceptual and memory-retrieval signals in two neighboring areas in temporal cortex, area TE (TE) and perirhinal cortex (PRh), while monkeys were performing a visual pair-association task. Perceptual signal reached TE before PRh, confirming its forward propagation. In contrast, memory-retrieval signal appeared earlier in PRh, and TE neurons were then gradually recruited to represent the sought target. A reasonable interpretation of this finding is that the rich backward fiber projections from PRh to TE may underlie the activation of TE neurons that represent a visual object retrieved from long-term memory (Naya, Yoshida ＆ Miyashita, Science 291, 661-664, 2001).
3. Functional brain organization of macaque monkeys and humans was directly compared by functional magnetic resonance imaging. Subjects of both species performed a modified Wisconsin Card Sorting Test that required behavioral flexibility in the form of cognitive set shifting. Equivalent visual stimuli and task sequence were used for the two species. We found transient activation related to cognitive set shifting in focal regions of prefrontal cortex in both monkeys and humans. These functional homologs were located in cytoarchitectonically equivalent regions in the posterior part of ventrolateral prefrontal cortex. This comparative imaging provides insights into the evolution of cognition in primates (Nakahara, Hayashi, Konishi ＆ Miyashita, Science 295, 1532-1536, 2002). Less