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, 2 (2), 147-63

Afferent Properties of Periarcuate Neurons in Macaque Monkeys. II. Visual Responses

Afferent Properties of Periarcuate Neurons in Macaque Monkeys. II. Visual Responses

G Rizzolatti et al. Behav Brain Res.

Abstract

The visual response of single neurons of the periarcuate cortex have been studied in the macaque monkey. Two sets of neurons responding to visual stimuli have been found. The first set, located rostral to the arcuate sulcus, was formed by units that could be activated by stimuli presented far from the animal. These neurons had large receptive fields and were neither orientation nor direction selective. The second set, found predominantly caudal to the arcuate sulcus, was formed by units that were maximally or even exclusively activated by stimuli presented in the space immediately around the animal. These neurons were bimodal, responding also to somatosensory stimuli. According to the location of their visual responding regions the bimodal neurons were subdivided into pericutaneous (54%) and distant peripersonal neurons (46%). The former responded best to stimuli presented a few centimeters from the skin, the latter to stimuli within the animal's reaching distance. The visual responding regions were spatially related to the tactile fields. It is argued that neurons with a receptive field consisting of several responding areas, some in one sensory modality, some in another, have a praxic function and that they are involved in organizing sequences of movements.

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