Using a compound gain field to compute a reach plan

Neuron. 2009 Dec 10;64(5):744-55. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2009.11.005.


A gain field, the scaling of a tuned neuronal response by a postural signal, may help support neuronal computation. Here, we characterize eye and hand position gain fields in the parietal reach region (PRR). Eye and hand gain fields in individual PRR neurons are similar in magnitude but opposite in sign to one another. This systematic arrangement produces a compound gain field that is proportional to the distance between gaze location and initial hand position. As a result, the visual response to a target for an upcoming reach is scaled by the initial gaze-to-hand distance. Such a scaling is similar to what would be predicted in a neural network that mediates between eye- and hand-centered representations of target location. This systematic arrangement supports a role of PRR in visually guided reaching and provides strong evidence that gain fields are used for neural computations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Attention
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Eye Movements / physiology
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Hand / physiology
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Neural Networks, Computer
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Parietal Lobe / cytology
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Reaction Time
  • Space Perception / physiology*
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Visual Fields / physiology*