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Article
Nature Neuroscience  5, 580 - 588 (2002)
Published online: 20 May 2002; | doi:10.1038/nn0602-862

Non-spatial, motor-specific activation in posterior parietal cortex

Jeffrey L. Calton1, 2, Anthony R. Dickinson1 & Lawrence H. Snyder1

1  Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Box 8108, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 S Euclid Ave., St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA

2  Present address: Department of Psychology, California State University, Sacramento, California 95819, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Lawrence H. Snyder larry@eye-hand.wustl.edu
A localized cluster of neurons in macaque posterior parietal cortex, termed the parietal reach region (PRR), is activated when a reach is planned to a visible or remembered target. To explore the role of PRR in sensorimotor transformations, we tested whether cells would be activated when a reach is planned to an as-yet unspecified goal. Over one-third of PRR cells increased their firing after an instruction to prepare a reach, but not after an instruction to prepare a saccade, when the target of the movement remained unknown. A partially overlapping population (two-thirds of cells) was activated when the monkey was informed of the target location but not the type of movement to be made. Thus a subset of PRR neurons separately code spatial and effector-specific information, consistent with a role in specifying potential motor responses to particular targets.

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Nature Neuroscience
ISSN: 1097-6256
EISSN: 1546-1726
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