Neuronal Representations of Tactic-Based Sensorimotor Transformations in the Primate Medial Prefrontal, Presupplementary, and Supplementary Motor Areas: A Comparative Study

Muhammad Ali Haider Awan, Hajime Mushiake, Yoshiya Matsuzaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Adaptive context-dependent behaviors necessitate the flexible selection of multiple behavioral tactics, i.e., internal protocols for selecting an action. Previous primate studies have shown that the posterior medial prefrontal cortex (pmPFC) contributes to the selection, retention, and use of tactics, but the manner in which this area employs selected tactics to convert sensory information into action and how that manner differs from downstream cortical motor areas have yet to be fully elucidated. To address this issue, the present study recorded neuronal activity in two monkeys as they performed a two-choice arm reaching task that required the selection of multiple tactics when converting spatial cue information into the direction of arm reaching. Neuronal populations in both pmPFC and presupplementary motor area (pre-SMA) represented tactics during their selection, maintenance in memory, and their use in determining an action. Additionally, they represented the monkeys’ action in the behavioral epoch in which the direction of reaching was determined. A striking contrast between the pmPFC and the pre-SMA was the representation of the spatial cue location in the former and its absence in the latter area. In individual neurons, neurons in pmPFC and pre-SMA had either single or mixed representation of tactics and action. Some of the pmPFC neurons additionally encoded cue location. Finally, neurons in the supplementary motor area mainly represented the action. Taken together, the present results indicate that, of these three areas, the pmPFC plays a cardinal role during the integration of behavioral tactics and visuospatial information when selecting an action.

Original languageEnglish
Article number536246
JournalFrontiers in Systems Neuroscience
Volume14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Sep 30

Keywords

  • action selection
  • behavioral tactics
  • posterior medial prefrontal cortex
  • presupplementary motor area
  • supplementary motor area

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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