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J Neurophysiol. 2000 Mar;83(3):1764-9.

Rostrocaudal distinction of the dorsal premotor area based on oculomotor involvement.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai 980, Japan.


To investigate functional differences between the rostral and caudal parts of the dorsal premotor cortex (PMd), we first examined the effects of intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) while monkeys were performing oculomotor and limb motor tasks or while they were at rest. We found that saccades were evoked from the rostral part (PMdr) whereas ICMS in the caudal part (PMdc) predominantly produced forelimb or body movements. Subsequently, we examined neuronal activity in relation to the performance of visually cued and memorized saccades while monkeys reached an arm toward a visual target. We found that roughly equal numbers of PMdr neurons were active during performance of the oculomotor and limb motor tasks. In contrast, the majority of PMdc neurons were related preferentially to arm movements and not to saccades. In the subsequent analysis, we found that the oculomotor effects evoked in the PMdr differ from the effects evoked in either the frontal eye field (FEF) or supplementary eye field (SEF). These findings suggest that the PMdr is involved in oculomotor as well as limb motor behavior. However, the oculomotor involvement of the PMdr seems to have a functional aspect different from that operating in the FEF and SEF.

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