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Neuroimage. 2003 Jul;19(3):959-67.

When vision guides movement: a functional imaging study of the monkey brain.

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Department of Basic Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, University of Crete, Crete, Greece.


Goal-directed reaching requires a precise neural representation of the arm position and the target location. Parietal and frontal cortical areas rely on visual, somatosensory, and motor signals to guide the reaching arm to the desired position in space. To dissociate the regions processing these signals, we applied the quantitative [(14)C]-deoxyglucose method on monkeys reaching either in the light or in the dark. Nonvisual (somatosensory and memory-related) guidance of the arm, during reaching in the dark, induced activation of discrete regions in the parietal, premotor, and motor cortices. These included the dorsal part of the medial bank of the intraparietal sulcus, the ventral premotor area F4, the dorsal premotor area F2 below the superior precentral dimple, and the primary somatosensory and motor cortices. Additional parietal and premotor regions comprising the ventral intraparietal cortex, ventral premotor area F5, and the ventral part of dorsal premotor area F2 were activated by visual guidance of the arm during reaching in the light. This study provides evidence that different regions of the parieto-premotor circuit process the visual, somatosensory, and motor-memory-related signals which guide the moving arm.

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