The activity of 249 neurons in the dorsomedial frontal cortex was studied in two macaque monkeys. The animals were trained to release a bar when a visual stimulus changed color in order to receive reward. An acoustic cue signaled the start of a series of trials to the animal, which was then free to begin each trial at will. The monkeys tended to fixate the visual stimuli and to make saccades when the stimuli moved. The monkeys were neither rewarded for making proper eye movements nor punished for making extraneous ones. We found neurons whose discharge was related to various movements including those of the eye, neck, and arm. In this report, we describe the properties of neurons that showed activity related to visual fixation and saccadic eye movement. Fixation neurons discharged during active fixation with the eye in a given position in the orbit, but did not discharge when the eye occupied the same orbital positions during nonactive fixation. These neurons showed neither a classic nor a complex visual receptive field, nor a foveal receptive visual field. Electrical stimulation at the site of the fixation neurons often drove the eye to the orbital position associated with maximal activity of the cell. Several different kinds of neurons were found to discharge before saccades: 1) checking-saccade neurons, which discharged when the monkeys made self-generated saccades to extinguish LED's; 2) novelty-detection saccade neurons, which discharged before the first saccade made to a new visual target but whose activity waned with successive presentations of the same target. These results suggest that the dorsomedial frontal cortex is involved in attentive fixation. We hypothesize that the fixation neurons may be involved in codifying the saccade toward a target. We propose that their involvement in arm-eye-head motor-planning rests primarily in targeting the goal of the movement. The fact that saccade-related neurons discharge when the saccades are self initiated, implies that this area of the cortex may share the control of voluntary saccades with the frontal eye fields and that the activation is involved in intentional motor processes.
|Data di pubblicazione:||1992|
|Titolo:||THE DORSOMEDIAL FRONTAL CORTEX OF THE MACACA MONKEY: FIXATION AND SACCADE-RELATED ACTIVITY|
|Autori:||Lucchetti, Cristina; Bon, Leopoldo|
|Autori interni:||LUCCHETTI, Cristina |
|Rivista:||EXPERIMENTAL BRAIN RESEARCH|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Articolo su rivista|
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