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A Neural Representation of Sequential States Within an Instructed Task

Campos, Michael and Breznen, Boris and Andersen, Richard A. (2010) A Neural Representation of Sequential States Within an Instructed Task. Journal of Neurophysiology, 104 (5). 2831-2849 . ISSN 0022-3077. PMCID PMC2997039. doi:10.1152/jn.01124.2009.

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In the study of the neural basis of sensorimotor transformations, it has become clear that the brain does not always wait to sense external events and afterward select the appropriate responses. If there are predictable regularities in the environment, the brain begins to anticipate the timing of instructional cues and the signals to execute a response, revealing an internal representation of the sequential behavioral states of the task being performed. To investigate neural mechanisms that could represent the sequential states of a task, we recorded neural activity from two oculomotor structures implicated in behavioral timing—the supplementary eye fields (SEF) and the lateral intraparietal area (LIP)—while rhesus monkeys performed a memory-guided saccade task. The neurons of the SEF were found to collectively encode the progression of the task with individual neurons predicting and/or detecting states or transitions between states. LIP neurons, while also encoding information about the current temporal interval, were limited with respect to SEF neurons in two ways. First, LIP neurons tended to be active when the monkey was planning a saccade but not in the precue or intertrial intervals, whereas SEF neurons tended to have activity modulation in all intervals. Second, the LIP neurons were more likely to be spatially tuned than SEF neurons. SEF neurons also show anticipatory activity. The state-selective and anticipatory responses of SEF neurons support two complementary models of behavioral timing, state dependent and accumulator models, and suggest that each model describes a contribution SEF makes to timing at different temporal resolutions.

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Andersen, Richard A.0000-0002-7947-0472
Additional Information:© 2010 The American Physiological Society. Submitted 21 December 2009; accepted in final form 22 August 2010. Published online before print August 2010. We thank I. Kagan for assistance with anatomical MRIs, A. Gail and V. Scherbatyuk for technical assistance, T. Yao for administrative assistance, and K. Pesja and N. Sammons for animal care. This work was supported by the National Eye Institute and the James G. Boswell Foundation.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Eye InstituteUNSPECIFIED
James G. Boswell FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:5
PubMed Central ID:PMC2997039
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110124-093441409
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Official Citation:Campos, M., B. Breznen, et al. (2010). "A Neural Representation of Sequential States Within an Instructed Task." Journal of Neurophysiology 104(5): 2831-2849.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:21859
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:04 Feb 2011 19:45
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 16:01

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