Functional organization of inferior area 6 in the macaque monkey. I. Somatotopy and the control of proximal movements

Exp Brain Res. 1988;71(3):475-90. doi: 10.1007/BF00248741.


Two series of experiments are reported in this paper. The first concerns the movement representation in the macaque inferior area 6, the second the functional properties of neurons located in the caudal part of this area (histochemical area F4). By combining single neuron recording and intracortical microstimulation, we found that inferior area 6 is somatotopically organized. The axio-proximal movements are represented caudally, the distal movements are represented near the arcuate sulcus. The mouth field is located laterally, the hand field medially. There is no leg field. A comparison between neuron properties and histochemical characteristics of inferior area 6 showed that the proximal movements representation includes most of area F4, whereas the distal movements representation corresponds to area F5 and to the rostral part of F4. Neurons located in that part of F4 where proximal movements are represented respond very well to tactile stimuli. They have large receptive fields mostly located on the face and on the upper part of the body. A large number of these neurons respond to visual stimuli. Objects approaching the animal are particularly effective. The tactile and the visual receptive fields are in register. The most represented movements are reaching movements, movements bringing the hand to the mouth or to the body and facial movements. There is a congruence between location of visual fields and preferred arm movements. It is argued that the receptive field arrangement and the response properties are more complex in area F4 than in the primary motor cortex and that area F4 neurons are involved in the control of arm movements towards different space sectors.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Evoked Potentials, Somatosensory
  • Evoked Potentials, Visual
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology*
  • Macaca / physiology*
  • Macaca nemestrina / physiology*
  • Movement*
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Touch