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Neuron. 2014 Jan 22;81(2):438-51. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2013.11.003.

Neural dynamics of reaching following incorrect or absent motor preparation.

Author information

1
Neurosciences Program, School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
2
Department of Neurosurgery, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Palo Alto, CA 94301, USA; Department of Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
3
Neurosciences Program, School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA; Department of Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA; Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA; Department of Neurobiology, School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. Electronic address: shenoy@stanford.edu.

Abstract

Moving is thought to take separate preparation and execution steps. During preparation, neural activity in primary motor and dorsal premotor cortices achieves a state specific to an upcoming action but movements are not performed until the execution phase. We investigated whether this preparatory state (more precisely, prepare-and-hold state) is required for movement execution using two complementary experiments. We compared monkeys' neural activity during delayed and nondelayed reaches and in a delayed reaching task in which the target switched locations on a small percentage of trials. Neural population activity bypassed the prepare-and-hold state both in the absence of a delay and if the wrong reach was prepared. However, the initial neural response to the target was similar across behavioral conditions. This suggests that the prepare-and-hold state can be bypassed if needed, but there is a short-latency preparatory step that is performed prior to movement even without a delay.

PMID:
24462104
PMCID:
PMC3936035
DOI:
10.1016/j.neuron.2013.11.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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