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J Neurophysiol. 1975 Jul;38(4):871-908.

Posterior parietal association cortex of the monkey: command functions for operations within extrapersonal space.


Experiments were made on the posterior parietal association cortical areas 5 and in 17 hemispheres of 11 monkeys, 6 M. mulatta and 5 M. arctoides. The electrical signs of the activity of single cortical cells were recorded with microelectrodes in waking animals as they carried out certain behavioral acts in response to a series of sensory cues. The behavioral paradigms were one for detection alone, and a second for detection plus projection of the arm to contact a stationary or moving target placed at arm's length. Of the 125 microelectrode penetrations made, 1,451 neurons were identified in terms of the correlation of their activity with the behavioral acts and their sensitivity or lack of it to sensory stimuli delivered passively; 180 were studied quantitatively. The locations of cortical neurons were identified in serial sections; 94 penetrations and 1,058 neurons were located with certainty. About two-thirds of the neurons of area 5 were activated by passive rotation of the limbs at their joints; of these, 82% were related to single, contralateral joints, 10% to two or more contralateral joints, 6% to ipsilateral, and 2% to joints on both sides of the body. A few of the latter were active during complex bodily postures. A large proportion of area 5 neurons were relatively insensitive to passive joint rotations, as compared with similar neurons of the postcentral gyrus, but were driven to high rates of discharge when the same joint was rotated during an active movement of the animal...

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