Space coding by premotor cortex
- Cite this article as:
- Fogassi, L., Gallese, V., di Pellegrino, G. et al. Exp Brain Res (1992) 89: 686. doi:10.1007/BF00229894
Many neurons in inferior area 6, a cortical premotor area, respond to visual stimuli presented in the space around the animal. We were interested to learn whether the receptive fields of these neurons are coded in retinotopic or in body-centered coordinates. To this purpose we recorded single neurons from inferior area 6 (F4 sector) in a monkey trained to fixate a light and detect its dimming. During fixation visual stimuli were moved towards the monkey both within and outside the neurons's receptive field. The fixation point was then moved and the neuron retested with the monkey's gaze deviated to the new location. The results showed that most inferior area 6 visual neurons code the stimulus position in spatial and not in retinal coordinates. It is proposed that these visual neurons are involved in generating the stable body-centered frame of reference necesary for programming visually guided movements.