Neuronal representation of task performance in the medial frontal cortex undergoes dynamic alterations dependent upon the demand for volitional control of action

Yoshiya Matsuzaka, Tetsuya Akiyama, Hajime Mushiake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Neural network contributing to forelimb task performance in the frontal cortex is dynamically reorganized by the necessity for volitional control of action. Neurons in the posterior medial prefrontal cortex (pmPFC) exhibit clear activity modulation when monkeys volitionally select the correct response tactic from multiple choices, but such activity disappears if selection of a tactic is unnecessary. Prompted by these results, we studied how the requirement to select an appropriate tactic affects the neural representation of action in downstream cortical areas. Two monkeys performed a spatial arm-reaching task with either left or right targets. The task required the monkeys to reach either toward (concordant trials) or away from (discordant trials) an illuminated target. Under the dual-tactic condition, concordant and discordant trials were randomly intermixed, requiring the selection of a response tactic. Under the single-tactic condition, only concordant trials were presented, allowing the monkeys to use the same tactic. Neurons in the pmPFC exhibited clear activity related to task performance under the former condition, but such activity disappeared under the latter condition. In contrast, neurons related to task performance were present under both conditions in supplementary motor area (SMA) and presupplementary motor area (pre-SMA). However, the efficacy of action representationby SMA but not pre-SMA neurons dramatically improved under the single-tactic condition. These results suggest that selection of the appropriate response tactic reorganizes neural circuits in specific motor areas in the medial frontal cortex, in addition to the pmPFC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-405
Number of pages11
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Volume229
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Monkey
  • Neuron
  • Posterior medial prefrontal cortex
  • Presupplementary motor area
  • Response tactics
  • Supplementary motor area

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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