Neuronal correlates of a perceptual decision in ventral premotor cortex

Neuron. 2004 Jan 8;41(1):165-73. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(03)00817-1.


The ventral premotor cortex (VPC) is involved in the transformation of sensory information into action, although the exact neuronal operation is not known. We addressed this problem by recording from single neurons in VPC while trained monkeys report a decision based on the comparison of two mechanical vibrations applied sequentially to the fingertips. Here we report that the activity of VPC neurons reflects current and remembered sensory inputs, their comparison, and motor commands expressing the result; that is, the entire processing cascade linking the evaluation of sensory stimuli with a motor report. These findings provide a fairly complete panorama of the neural dynamics that underlies the transformation of sensory information into an action and emphasize the role of VPC in perceptual decisions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Choice Behavior / physiology
  • Decision Making / physiology*
  • Discrimination, Psychological / physiology
  • Electrophysiology
  • Fingers
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Memory / physiology
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Motor Cortex / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Sensation / physiology*
  • Vibration