Lateral-posterior and pulvinar reaching cells-comparison with parietal area 5a: a study in behaving Macaca nemestrina monkeys

  • Acuña C
  • Cudeiro J
  • Gonzalez F
 et al. 
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In a previous study we have demonstrated the existence of pulvinar (puv) cells which were optimally activated when a monkey executed reaching movements with his limbs (Acuña et al 1983). We now describe further observations in four Macaca nemestrina monkeys trained to perform goal directed reaching movements aimed at four different positions in space. Extracellular unit activity in the lateralis posterior (lp) and puv nuclei, together with electrooculograms were recorded during the execution of the task. Seven hundred and sixty neurons were studied in the lp-puv complex. One hundred and twenty three cells (16%) showed changes in activity related to the reaching movements. Reaching related cells fell into two categories: goal direction sensitive (28/123 = 23%) and pandirectional (95/123 = 77%). Goal direction sensitive cells showed different responses depending on the direction of the goal relative to the starting point of the movement. The responses of the pandirectional cells were independent of goal direction. The activity of the remaining cells (637/760) could not be correlated with reaching movements. In a smaller number of area 5a (PE) cells (n = 109) studied in one monkey, 82 (75%) were classified as reaching related cells. Of these, 76% (62/82) were goal direction sensitive and 24% (20/82) pandirectional. The lp-puv cells were more dependent on the intentionality of movement than area 5a cells, and not reliably activated by passive manipulation of the limb. After injection of HRP-WGA in area 5a, where the reaching cells were recorded, labeled cells and terminals were located in the lp-puv zones where reaching cells were also found.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Author-supplied keywords

  • Area 5a
  • HRP
  • Lateralis posterior
  • Monkey
  • Pulvinar
  • Reaching
  • WGA

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  • Carlos AcuñaUniversidade de Santiago de Compostela

  • J. Cudeiro

  • F. Gonzalez

  • J. M. Alonso

  • R. Perez

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