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Romanski Lab

Neural Circuitry of Social Communication

Functional Organization of Primate Prefrontal Cortex

The functional organization of the primate prefrontal cortex.

Our research is aimed at understanding how social communication information is processed, integrated and remembered in the brain. In our everyday communication, information from our face comes together with vocal information. This is made possible by circuits that pass information from the ears when we hear someone speaking all the way through the auditory system and up to the ventral frontal lobe language areas. Similarly, visual information we perceive in faces is transmitted from the retina through visual cortical regions and also reaches the ventral frontal lobes. Our goal is to understand how the integration of face and vocal information takes place, what details are integrated and where in the brain this occurs. 

To address these questions we are investigating:

  • the neurophysiological activity in the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex that occurs when we combine and remember face and vocal information
  • the anatomical pathways that convey vocalization and face information to the prefrontal cortex

Recent Submissions and Publications  (2021-2022)

Divergent Roles for Ventrolateral and Medial Prefrontal Cortex During Audiovisual Working Memory
Albuquerque, E.R., Plakke, B.A. Hwang, J., Sharma,  K.K., M.D. Diltz and Romanski, L.M. (2022), in progress.

Inactivation of primate dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during auditory working memory
Plakke, B.A. , Leyens, C., Kevelson, K. and Romanski, L.M. (2022), submitted.

Neuronal Population Encoding of Identity in Primate Prefrontal Cortex
KK Sharma, M Diltz, T Lincoln, LM Romanski
bioRxiv 2022.06.26.497629; doi:

Representation of Expression and Identity by Ventral Prefrontal Neurons
Diehl MM, Plakke BA, Albuquerque ER, Romanski LM.  Neuroscience. 2022 Aug 1;496:243-260. doi: 10.1016/j. Neuroscience.2022.05.033. Epub 2022 May 30. PMID: 35654293

Audiovisual integration in macaque face patch neurons
Khandhadia AP, Murphy AP, Romanski LM, Bizley JK, Leopold DA.  Curr Biol. 2021 May 10;31(9):1826-1835.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.01.102. Epub 2021 Feb 25.  PMID: 33636119


Lizabeth Romanski, Ph.D.

Lizabeth Romanski, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator