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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America


Spatial and non-spatial sensory information is hypothesized to be evaluated in parallel pathways. In this study, we tested the spatial and non-spatial sensitivity of auditory neurons in the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (vPFC), a cortical area in the non-spatial pathway. Activity was tested while non-human primates reported changes in an auditory stimulus' spatial or non-spatial features. We found that vPFC neurons were reliably modulated during a non-spatial auditory task but were not modulated during a spatial auditory task. The degree of modulation during the non-spatial task correlated positively with the monkeys' behavioral performance. These results are consistent with the hypotheses that the vPFC is part of a circuit involved in non-spatial auditory processing and that the vPFC plays a functional role in non-spatial auditory cognition.