Preparatory Delay Activity in the Monkey Parietal Reach Region Predicts Reach Reaction Times

L. H. Snyder, A. R. Dickinson, J. L. Calton
2006 Journal of Neuroscience  
To acquire something that we see, visual spatial information must ultimately result in the activation of the appropriate set of muscles. This sensory to motor transformation requires an interaction between information coding target location and information coding which effector will be moved. Activity in the monkey parietal reach region (PRR) reflects both spatial information and the effector (arm or eye) that will be used in an upcoming reach or saccade task. To further elucidate the
more » ... role of PRR in visually guided movement tasks and to obtain evidence that PRR signals are used to drive arm movements, we tested the hypothesis that increased neuronal activity during a preparatory delay period would lead to faster reach reaction times but would not be correlated with saccade reaction times. This proved to be the case only when the type of movement and not the spatial goal of that movement was known in advance. The correlation was strongest in cells that showed significantly more activity on arm reach compared with saccade trials. No significant correlations were found during delay periods in which spatial information was provided in advance. These data support the idea that PRR constitutes a bottleneck in the processing of spatial information for an upcoming arm reach. The lack of a correlation with saccadic reaction time also supports the idea that PRR processing is effector specific, that is, it is involved in specifying targets for arm movements but not targets for eye movements.
doi:10.1523/jneurosci.0513-06.2006 pmid:17021165 fatcat:nwlycniph5as7objijtzguaewe