Reward activations and face fields in monkey cingulate motor areas

J Neurophysiol. 2018 Mar 1;119(3):1037-1044. doi: 10.1152/jn.00749.2017. Epub 2017 Dec 6.


Several premotor areas have been identified within primate cingulate cortex; however their function is yet to be uncovered. Recent brain imaging work in humans revealed a topographic anatomofunctional overlap between feedback processing during exploratory behaviors and the corresponding body fields in the rostral cingulate motor area (RCZa), suggesting an embodied representation of feedback. In particular, a face field in RCZa processes juice feedback. Here we tested an extension of the embodied principle in which unexpected or relevant information obtained through the eye or the face would be processed by face fields in cingulate motor areas, and whether this applied to monkey cingulate cortex. We show that activations for juice reward, eye movement, eye blink, and tactile stimulation on the face overlap over two subfields within the cingulate sulcus likely corresponding to the rostral and caudal cingulate motor areas. This suggests that in monkeys as is the case in humans, behaviorally relevant information is processed through multiple cingulate body/effector maps. NEW & NOTEWORTHY What is the role of cingulate motor areas? In this study we observed in monkeys that, as in humans, neural responses to face-related events, juice reward, eye movement, eye blink, and tactile stimulations, clustered redundantly in two separate cingulate subfields. This suggests that behaviorally relevant information is processed by multiple cingulate effector maps. Importantly, this overlap supports the principle that the cingulate cortex processes feedback based on where it is experienced on the body.

Keywords: cingulate cortex; embodied cognition; eye movements; feedback; reward.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Eye Movements
  • Face
  • Facial Recognition*
  • Female
  • Gyrus Cinguli / physiology*
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Male
  • Physical Stimulation
  • Reward*
  • Touch Perception