Cortical area 3b contains representations of the surfaces of the digits that are adjacent and non-overlapping in untrained owl monkeys. Recent work in the Merzenich laboratory has shown that simultaneous or alternating stimulation of the digits in a behavioral task causes the neural representations of these digits to merge or to segregate, respectively. In the proposed experiments we ask under what temporal and behavioral conditions will the neural representations of stimuli merge? Owl monkeys have been trained at tasks that present stimuli to adjacent distal fingerpads with near simultaneous stimulus timing. Awake behaving recordings will allow us to document the cortical changes that accompany changes in the animal's perceptual capabilities. The awake recordings will answer questions about the temporal and behavioral conditions under which single cortical neurons re-organize their spatial and temporal response properties.
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