Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 83, Issue 1, pp 228–232

Shift of preferred directions of premotor cortical cells with arm movements performed across the workspace

Authors

  • R. Caminiti
    • Istituto di Fisiologia umana, Facoltà di Medicina e ChirurgiaUniversità degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”
  • P. B. Johnson
    • Curriculum in Neurobiology, University of North Carolina
  • Y. Burnod
    • Departement des Neurosciences de la VisionInstitut des Neurosciences, Universitè Paris VI
  • C. Galli
    • Istituto di Fisiologia umana, Facoltà di Medicina e ChirurgiaUniversità degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”
  • S. Ferraina
    • Istituto di Fisiologia umana, Facoltà di Medicina e ChirurgiaUniversità degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”
Research Note

DOI: 10.1007/BF00232214

Cite this article as:
Caminiti, R., Johnson, P.B., Burnod, Y. et al. Exp Brain Res (1990) 83: 228. doi:10.1007/BF00232214

Summary

The activity of 156 neurons was recorded in the premotor cortex (Weinrich and Wise 1982) and in an adjoining rostral region of area 6 (area 6 DR; Barbas and Pandya 1987) while monkeys made visually-guided arm movements of similar direction within different parts of space. The activity of individual neurons varied most for a given preferred direction of movement within each part of space. These neurons (152/156, 97.4%) were labeled as directional. The spatial orientation of their preferred directions shifted in space to “follow” the rotation of the shoulder joint necessary to bring the arm into the different parts of the work-space. These results suggest that the cortical areas studied represent arm movement direction within a coordinate system rotating with the arm and where signals about the movement direction relate to the motor plan through a simple invariant relationship, that between cell preferred direction and arm orientation in space.

Key words

Premotor cortexArm movementMovement directionCoordinate systemMonkey

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990