Representation of Behavioral Tactics and Tactics-Action Transformation in the Primate Medial Prefrontal Cortex

  • Matsuzaka Y
  • Tanji J
  • Mushiake H
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Abstract

UNLABELLED To expedite the selection of action under a structured behavioral context, we develop an expedient to promote its efficiency: tactics for action selection. Setting up a behavioral condition for subhuman primates (Macaca fuscata) that induced the development of a behavioral tactics, we explored neuronal representation of tactics in the medial frontal cortex. Here we show that neurons in the posterior medial prefrontal cortex, but not much in the medial premotor cortex, exhibit activity representing the behavioral tactics, in advance of action-selective activity. Such activity appeared during behavioral epochs of its retrieval from instruction cues, maintenance in short-term memory, and its implementation for the achievement of action selection. At a population level, posterior medial prefrontal cortex neurons take part in transforming the tactics information into the information representing action selection. The tactics representation revealed an aspect of neural mechanisms for an adaptive behavioral control, taking place in the medial prefrontal cortex. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT We studied behavioral significance of neuronal activity in the posterior medial prefrontal cortex (pmPFC) and found the representation of behavioral tactics defined as specific and efficient ways to achieve objectives of actions. Neuronal activity appeared during behavioral epochs of its retrieval from instruction cues, maintenance in short-term memory, and its use preceding the achievement of action selection. We found further that pmPFC neurons take part in transforming the tactics information into the information representing action selection. A majority of individual neurons was recruited during a limited period in each behavioral epoch, constituting, as a whole, a temporal cascade of activity. Such dynamics found in behavioral-tactics specific activity characterize the participation of pmPFC neurons in executive control of purposeful behavior.

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APA

Matsuzaka, Y., Tanji, J., & Mushiake, H. (2016). Representation of Behavioral Tactics and Tactics-Action Transformation in the Primate Medial Prefrontal Cortex. The Journal of Neuroscience, 36(22), 5974–5987. https://doi.org/10.1523/jneurosci.4572-15.2016

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