Over the years, electrophysiological recordings in macaque monkeys performing visuomotor tasks brought about accumulating evidence for the expression of neuronal properties (e.g., selectivity in the visuospatial and somatosensory domains, encoding of visual affordances and motor cues) in the posterior parietal area V6A that characterize it as an ideal neural substrate for online control of prehension. Interestingly, neuroimaging studies suggested a role of putative human V6A also in action preparation; moreover, pre-movement population activity in monkey V6A has been recently shown to convey grip-related information for upcoming grasping. Here we directly test whether macaque V6A neurons encode preparatory signals that effectively differentiate between dissimilar actions before movement. We recorded the activity of single V6A neurons during execution of two visuomotor tasks requiring either reach-to-press or reach-to-grasp movements in different background conditions, and described the nature and temporal dynamics of V6A activity preceding movement execution. We found striking consistency in neural discharges measured during pre-movement and movement epochs, suggesting that the former is a preparatory activity exquisitely linked to the subsequent execution of particular motor actions. These findings strongly support a role of V6A beyond the online guidance of movement, with preparatory activity implementing suitable motor programs that subsequently support action execution.
|Titolo:||Preparatory activity for purposeful arm movements in the dorsomedial parietal area V6A: Beyond the online guidance of movement|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2018|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01.01 Articolo in Rivista|