Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Neurosci. 2016 Feb 10;36(6):1971-6. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2356-15.2016.

Inactivation of the Dorsal Premotor Area Disrupts Internally Generated, But Not Visually Guided, Sequential Movements.

Author information

1
Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, Systems Neuroscience Institute, University of Pittsburgh Brain Institute, and Department of Neurobiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15261.
2
Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, Systems Neuroscience Institute, University of Pittsburgh Brain Institute, and Department of Neurobiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15261 strickp@pitt.edu.

Abstract

As skill on a sequence of movements is acquired through practice, each movement in the sequence becomes seamlessly associated with another. To study the neural basis of acquired skills, we trained two monkeys (Cebus apella) to perform two sequential reaching tasks. In one task, sequential movements were instructed by visual cues, whereas in the other task, movements were generated from memory after extended practice. Then, we examined neural activity in the dorsal premotor area (PMd) and the effects of its local inactivation during performance of each task. Comparable numbers of neurons in the PMd were active during the two tasks. However, inactivation of the PMd had a marked effect only on the performance of sequential movements that were guided by memory. These results emphasize the importance of the PMd in the internal generation of sequential movements, perhaps through maintaining arbitrary motor-motor associations.

SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT:

The dorsal premotor cortex (PMd) has long been thought to be a critical node in the cortical networks responsible for visually guided reaching. Here we show that PMd neurons are active during both visually guided and internally generated sequential movements. In addition, we found that local inactivation of the PMd has a marked effect only on the performance of sequential movements that were internally generated. These observations suggest that, although the PMd may participate in the generation of visually guided sequences, it is more important for the generation of internally guided sequences.

PMID:
26865620
PMCID:
PMC4748079
DOI:
10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2356-15.2016
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center