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

Nat Neurosci. 2002 Jun;5(6):580-8. doi: 10.1038/nn0602-862.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Choice Behavior
  • Color
  • Color Perception / physiology
  • Electrophysiology
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Memory / physiology
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Parietal Lobe / cytology
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Reaction Time
  • Saccades / physiology
  • Time Factors