Neural correlates of cognitive control of reaching movements in the dorsal premotor cortex of rhesus monkeys

G. Mirabella, P. Pani, S. Ferraina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Canceling a pending movement is a hallmark of voluntary behavioral control because it allows us to quickly adapt to unattended changes either in the external environment or in our thoughts. The countermanding paradigm allows the study of inhibitory processes of motor acts by requiring the subject to withhold planned movements in response to an infrequent stopsignal. At present the neural processes underlying the inhibitory control of arm movements are mostly unknown. We recorded the activity of single units in the rostral and caudal portion of the dorsal premotor cortex (PMd) of monkeys trained in a countermanding reaching task. We found that among neurons with a movementpreparatory activity, about one-third exhibit a modulation before the behavioral estimate of the time it takes to cancel a planned movement. Hence these neurons exhibit a pattern of activity suggesting that PMd plays a critical role in the brain networks involved in the control of arm movement initiation and suppression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1454-1466
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Neurophysiology
Volume106
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011

Keywords

  • Countermanding task
  • Single units
  • Stop task
  • Voluntary control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Neuroscience(all)

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