November 27, 2020

Temporal dynamics of neural activity in macaque frontal cortex assessed with large-scale recordings

We make eye movements to objects before grasping these objects, and the gaze direction generally indicates where the object will be grasped. Hence, the brain has to coordinate eye-, arm- and hand movements. We performed large-scale recordings (more than 2000 responsive sites) in frontal cortex of monkeys during a saccade-reach-grasp task. When an object appeared in peripheral vision, the first burst of activity emerged in prearcuate areas (the FEF and area 45B), followed by dorsal and ventral premotor cortex, and a buildup of activity in primary motor cortex. After the saccade, prearcuate activity remained elevated while primary motor and premotor activity rose in anticipation of the upcoming arm and hand movement. Some premotor and prearcuate sites were equally active when the object appeared in peripheral vision and at the fovea, suggesting a role in eye-hand coordination. Thus, a large part of lateral frontal cortex is active during a saccade-reach-grasp task.

 bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

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