Combination of hand and gaze signals during reaching: activity in parietal area 7 m of the monkey

J Neurophysiol. 1997 Feb;77(2):1034-8. doi: 10.1152/jn.1997.77.2.1034.


The role of area 7 m has been studied by recording the activity of single neurons of monkeys trained to fixate and reach toward peripheral targets. The target was randomly selected from eight possible locations on a virtual circle, of radius 30 degrees visual angle from a central target. Three tasks were employed to dissociate hand- from eye-related contributions. In the first task, animals looked and reached to the peripheral target. In a second task, the animal reached to the peripheral target while maintaining fixation on the central target. In the third task, the monkey maintained fixation on peripheral targets that were spatially coincident with those of the reaching tasks. The results show that cell activity in area 7 m relates, for some cells to eye position, for others to hand position and movement, and for the majority of cells to a combination of visuomanual and oculomotor information. This area, therefore, seems to perform an early combination of information in the processing leading from target localization to movement generation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Hand / physiology*
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Rats
  • Visual Perception / physiology*