Neuronal correlates of sensorimotor association in stimulus-response compatibility

J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform. 1997 Dec;23(6):1708-26. doi: 10.1037//0096-1523.23.6.1708.


Neuronal mechanisms underlying stimulus-response (S-R) associations in S-R compatibility tasks were identified in 2 experiments with monkeys. Visual stimuli were presented on the left and right calling for left-right movements under congruent and incongruent S-R mapping instructions. High- and low-pitched tones calling for left-right movements were presented to the left and right ear, and the stimulus side was irrelevant. Single neurons sensitive to the S-R mapping rule were found in the primary motor cortex. The large overlap between the neuronal populations sensitive to the stimulus side, the S-R mapping rule, and the response side, respectively, is consistent with the idea that sensory-to-motor transformation is a continuous rather than a discrete process. Results partly support the hypothesis that the increase in reaction time with incongruent mapping is caused by the automatic activation of the congruent, but erroneous, response.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Association Learning / physiology*
  • Auditory Perception / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Male
  • Neural Pathways*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Random Allocation
  • Reaction Time
  • Regression Analysis
  • Space Perception / physiology*