Neuronal correlates of metacognition in primate frontal cortex.

Published

Journal Article

Humans are metacognitive: they monitor and control their cognition. Our hypothesis was that neuronal correlates of metacognition reside in the same brain areas responsible for cognition, including frontal cortex. Recent work demonstrated that nonhuman primates are capable of metacognition, so we recorded from single neurons in the frontal eye field, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and supplementary eye field of monkeys (Macaca mulatta) that performed a metacognitive visual-oculomotor task. The animals made a decision and reported it with a saccade, but received no immediate reward or feedback. Instead, they had to monitor their decision and bet whether it was correct. Activity was correlated with decisions and bets in all three brain areas, but putative metacognitive activity that linked decisions to appropriate bets occurred exclusively in the SEF. Our results offer a survey of neuronal correlates of metacognition and implicate the SEF in linking cognitive functions over short periods of time.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Middlebrooks, PG; Sommer, MA

Published Date

  • August 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 75 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 517 - 530

PubMed ID

  • 22884334

Pubmed Central ID

  • 22884334

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1097-4199

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0896-6273

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.neuron.2012.05.028

Language

  • eng