Representation of immediate and final behavioral goals in the monkey prefrontal cortex during an instructed delay period

Naohiro Saito, Hajime Mushiake, Kazuhiro Sakamoto, Yasuto Itoyama, Jun Tanji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

80 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We examined neuronal activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex of monkeys performing a path-planning task in a maze that required the planning of actions in multiple steps. The animals received an instruction that prompted them to prepare to move a cursor in the maze stepwise from a starting position to a goal position by operating manipulanda with either arm. During a delay period in which the animal prepared to start the first of three cursor movements to approach the pre-instructed goal, we identified two types of neuronal activity: the first type reflected the position within the maze to which the animal intended to move the cursor as an initial step (an immediate goal) and the second type reflected the position within the maze that was to be captured as a final goal. Neither type reflected motor responses. We propose that these two types of neuronal activity are neuronal correlates that represent immediate and ultimate behavioral goals. This finding implicates the prefrontal cortex in governing goal-oriented sequential behavior rather than sensorimotor transformation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1535-1546
Number of pages12
JournalCerebral Cortex
Volume15
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Oct 1

Keywords

  • Action planning
  • Behavioral goals
  • Maze
  • Monkey
  • Problem solving
  • Single-cell recording

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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