We recorded 200 neurons from the ventral part of the promotor cortex (PMv) and 110 neurons from the primary motor cortex (MI) of a monkey performing a visually cued arm-reaching task with a delay. We compared neuronal activity in the premovement period while the monkey reached the target with the eyes fixating on either a left or fight fixation target. Our data demonstrate that about half of the movement-related activity in the PMv was modulated by the direction of gaze. In contrast, a vast majority of the activity of MI neurons and about half of PMv neurons were not influenced by the direction of gaze. We further analyzed the movement-related activity during the roaching movement to targets at the top, bottom, left, and right of each fixation point. The magnitude of activity of neurons showing the gazedirection selectivity was primarily determined by the position of the teaching target relative to the eye-fixation target, and not by the position of the target relative to the animal's body. These data suggest that a part of the coordinate transformation of the motor command signals concerning the direction of reaching from the retinotopic to body-centered frame of reference may occur at the level of premotor cortex but not in MI.
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