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Cereb Cortex. 2018 May 1;28(5):1866-1881. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhy035.

Directed Interaction Between Monkey Premotor and Posterior Parietal Cortex During Motor-Goal Retrieval from Working Memory.

Author information

German Primate Center, Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, Kellnerweg 4, 37077 Göttingen, Germany.
Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience, Göttingen, Germany.
Faculty of Biology and Psychology, Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen, Germany.


Goal-directed behavior requires cognitive control of action, putatively by means of frontal-lobe impact on posterior brain areas. We investigated frontoparietal directed interaction (DI) in monkeys during memory-guided rule-based reaches, to test if DI supports motor-goal selection or working memory (WM) processes. We computed DI between the parietal reach region (PRR) and dorsal premotor cortex (PMd) with a Granger-causality measure of intracortical local field potentials (LFP). LFP mostly in the beta (12-32 Hz) and low-frequency (f≤10Hz) ranges contributed to DI. During movement withholding, beta-band activity in PRR had a Granger-causal effect on PMd independent of WM content. Complementary, low-frequency PMd activity had a transient Granger-causing effect on PRR specifically during WM retrieval of spatial motor goals, while no DI was associated with preliminary motor-goal selection. Our results support the idea that premotor and posterior parietal cortices interact functionally to achieve cognitive control during goal-directed behavior, in particular, that frontal-to-parietal interaction occurs during retrieval of motor-goal information from spatial WM.

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